About : Portrait of a landscape

Artist statement

Photography to me is the beginning point for a walk towards conscious and wanted emotions. I am floating, waiting for the right moment to penetrate the water, then I dive.

My researches on landscape photography are a way to get nearer to the most stimulating and vibrant part of nature : her gentle power.

I began working on pictures called ”Portrait of a Landscape”, this name comes from my choice of using exclusively the portrait position for my photographs, this choice comes from a deep feeling of freedom and air as a great part of the picture is dedicated to imagination. Whereas landscape position photographs evokes heaviness, real life.

My late series went deeper into unknown territories : for some times I staid by the shore, experimenting a photography close to my classic education, but the series called ”The Blue Hour” was so impressive it forced me out my entrenchment. As a matter of fact, to continue with this series I had to pick up photographs with exceptional colours. I shot a lot but few passed : Angèle and the Black Moon did.

Those researches about colour in portrait of a landscape brought me to the shores of impressionism, waves are like light brush strokes, orderly and horizontal as on a Monet or a Sisley, a delicious walkway between the two arts of painting and photography.

A new series was the occasion of looking for the limits between black and white and colours : called Westward let me go deeper into what I met in my former work for the exhibition Black, Graphic Cabinet organised by Jeannie Lucas, Jean Pierre et Frederic at the bookshop Le Regard Moderne, in Paris. I had uncovered something close to tragedy in black and white pictures whereas colour is closer to the comedy with the softness of its transitions and humanity that emerges.

In portrait of a landscape, framing, constructions, figures, and the organisation of colours are chosen to let a maximum of space to imagination. Nature around me has always been generous, I want to make quiet and most of the time silent. Out from the turmoil of daily life, my photographs tend towards serenity feelings, the state of meditation. As I have grown up in the country, I cannot forget that I am part of this world, of its balance.

I cherish present time, a universal form of present time but I keep in mind the artists throughout history who have built my scrutiny and my imagination. The time I am about to write on these photographs must try to thank artists such as Rembrandt for his chiaroscuro, Turner for his bright ambiances, Nicolas De Stael as much for his colours as for his greys, to be the closest to Willy Ronis’ instantaneousness, Bernd and Hilda Bechers’ precision softened by Man Ray’s and Sigmard Polke’s experiments …


Easily approaching my fifties, I begin to be able to have global glance on my life.
Since my childhood in Ardeche until now in Dieulefit, Drome Provencal, some people could think I did nothing much apart crossing the Rhone River, but it was a little bit more complex.

If I get back to the beginning : made in Wales, born in Besançon in a family from Normandy, I arrived in Ardeche at the age of one in a ruined farm. My father from the country dreamt of breeding goats, my mother from the city got rapidly lost in this isolated farm called Chazal. It was a concentrate of what is the best and the worst for a kid : at the same time a huge wild territory to explore and a closed heavy place.

Life went on, school, work on the farm until my baccalaureate, I wanted to be a vet as I knew more about animals than about humans but got disgusted with maths and got my studies thanks to English. My father asked me ”why don’t you study English ?” I answered ”Why not ?”

So I went to Grenoble : it was an epiphany, I was free at last, all these small moments snatched from daily work became the rule.

I was so happy, I have always been lone and staid it, but I was among a crowd. I already spoke quite good English, I loved discovering Literature and History of these civilisations. Very quickly I met a very important friend, who is still my oldest friend, even more a brother.

It was gorgeous for my four years in university, my results were not my main goal but I really enjoyed learning this language, it made me believe I was in a country far away from my past life.

My fourth and last year was very different from the rest : I began my master’s degree on a simple idea, a bit hazy, to compare two books we had studied : Robinson Crusoe written by Daniel Defoe and Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain, starting on a comparison of the island and the raft.

It was the first time in my life I took such pleasure searching, finding, assembling and eventually writing a totally personal work rewarded with a very good advice from my teacher. What a pleasure ! I have just published it this year, under the title Robinson Crusoe and Huckleberry Finn, shamanic initiations ? for sale here.

The following year, I went in a western suburb of London called Kingston-upon-Thames, as French assistant, for new adventures : it has been a bit hard to get into working rhythm but I finally accepted my fate. After six months, I quit from this work to try a new life in France with a theatre company, it was not a success but it was a brief taste for later on. By that time , I was living in Paris a complex and painful relationship with a woman, but with magnificent moments which got rarer and rarer. We were living in La Goutte d’Or : another new world, people everywhere, unknown flavours, unimagined tastes and Paris all around where I could walk for hours.

I worked as a waiter for a few months in front of The Moulin Rouge, then I worked as a general handyman in a small enterprise specialised in settings and wedding cards for the Sephardic community : another unknown world. I began crafting wood with pleasure and success, I often passed by a workshop building sets for the theatre and the opera and one day I drove in.

A few months later I began in this new world : I adored right from the beginning. I had found at last what I was going to do. It was perfect to me just halfway between dream and reality, matter and imagination. As an intermittent, I had a lot of freedom, a lot of time for myself and enough money, I could at last have my vital carelessness.

I have time for my portrait of a landscape.

As a writer

Jaquette du livre de Samuel Guille: Robinson Crusoe and Huckleberry Finn : shamanic initiations ?

Presented by Craft Galery, Dieulefit, France

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