The Victor Hugo Centre presents a unique opportunity to celebrate Victor Hugo’s life and work; the artistic inspiration Guernsey provided to him; and the ongoing legacy of creative and artistic activity that continues to enliven the island. Victor Hugo described Guernsey as, “The rock of hospitality and freedom.” Guernsey captivated Victor Hugo and fed his already fertile imagination. For fifteen years Hugo roamed the island, seeking discourse with islanders from all walks of life; studying the island’s landscape and nature; and especially observing the ever-changing moods of the surrounding sea. Like an alchemist, Hugo transformed these everyday observations into novels, poetry, polemics and paintings inspired by his adopted home, “the noble little nation of the sea.” Guernsey has yet to repay the tribute given by her most famous resident.
The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society is committed to creating a Victor Hugo Centre where this great life story can be recognised in tandem with Guernsey’s contemporary cultural community of artists, writers, musicians, photographers and film makers. The Centre can become the lively, vibrant home of Guernsey’s creative sector, building on Hugo’s diverse talents and achievements. In his own lifetime, his name, Victor Hugo, attained mythic status globally: recognised around the world, saluted as a writer, poet, dramatist and painter, honoured for his visionary commitment to principles of human rights, individual freedom, universal education and social reform. The Centre will focus outwards, forging bonds with and drawing talent from similar institutions around the world. The Victor Hugo Centre is Guernsey’s opportunity to enhance its cultural, educational, hospitality and tourism offering at home and abroad, inviting the world to explore the island that enchanted the man himself.