Platinum Winner

Le Refuge

Photographer

Rechercher

Category

Architecture Photography - Bridges

Company

Rechercher

Submission Group

Professional

Year

2021

Country / Region

France

THE REFUGE

This work is the result of an artistic residency commissioned by the Transit photography collective with a creative grant from the city of Montpellier, France.

A residency is a work of research. The aim was to focus on the city of Montpellier and its rapidly changing urban space. Searching without knowing what I was going to find and faced with the emptiness of the blank page, walking around the city was the only solution.

I started as I usually do, by analyzing its layout, its routes, its limits, and the various characteristics that make up an urban fabric through maps and by traveling all the streetcar and bus routes from end to end. I also walked the city limits, along the Lez and Mosson rivers.

I admit I got lost in this blank page, not knowing how to tackle my subject, trying various approaches, various mediums, from large format to digital cameras.

I found refuge in the green banks of one of the smallest rivers in France, Le Lez. It is barely thirty kilometers long. I decided to concentrate on this waterway, from source to mouth. I discovered both wild and managed, bucolic and sometimes implausible natural spaces, finally producing this series of images that I intended to be green throughout.

When it came to printing, I began to search through the dozens of paper types available in fine art stores.

The photos featured here are pigment prints on Lokta paper. This is paper made by hand from the fibers of the Daphne Papyracea, or Lokta, shrub that grows high in Nepal. Its unevenness and roughness make it almost incompatible with printing. Its natural hue is consistent with the seasonal variations of the plant and the soil. It will undoubtedly evolve randomly over time, allowing the image to embody nature's transformations.

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