Au Brana was once a family farm in the heart of the Gers countryside with space for cows, chickens, sheep, horses, pigs and grains. When Kate and Oliviero found the farm in 2004 it had been empty for over thirty years and in a state of disrepair; the barn needed re-roofing and connecting to the mains supply, internal walls were shifting and it certainly did not resemble a cultural centre. With a limited budget and a large amount of determination, Kate and Oliviero began transforming their ruin with the help and support of friends and family.
Through workshops to exchange building work for theatre training, help from the local community and friends with strange preferences for holidays spent covered in dust, Au Brana is now an accessible public space with two studios, a dormitory, kitchen area and landscaped gardens. All work, (except the septic system) has been undertaken by the OBRA Theatre Co and friends. It has been entirely self-funded and has been successfully realised through sheer determination and people’s generosity (in the form of windows, doors, plates, blankets, old tiles……).
There is still work to be done but Au Brana is already home to many exciting projects and a meeting place for artists from all over the world.
Here is a selection of images from the past 7 years;