Posted by: London UK | November 9, 2007

Day 46 - Night & Darkness

lebasA fascination with night, darkness and the unseen corners of our world has often haunted the work of Chrystel Lebas as she uses a variety of diiferent approaches to the subject in an effort to assess our experience of it and our relationship to it.

In her series Night 2, Lebas examined the intense darkness of starless nights, shooting at dusk with a pinhole camera. In a separate project, Sleep, she looks explores a different view of night by creating ghostly images of people sleeping, considering the outward appearance and inward experience of being unconscious. “Is it an image of sleep or death,” Lebas asks, “of the process of dreaming or dying?”

More recently Lebas has used a panoramic camera to produce colour landscapes from all over Europe. By using slow sweeping camera movements together with long exposure times, from two to six hours, these images explore photography’s intrinsic relationship with time and movement. In this respect Lebas uses the camera in much the same way as an artist might use a pencil, as a tool to ‘draw’ the landscape.

Lebas uses symbolic elements, such as water, sky and mountains, and a richness of colour to emphasise a dream-like state of a distorted world that draws the imagination back to childhood. Lebas’ work is strongly influenced by the German Romantic Movement from the end of the nineteenth century, touching upon notions of contemplation.

Human Nature is based upon the idea of human presence within the landscape and our relationship to the natural environment. The photographs, produced in Iceland and America, show the figure contemplating and interacting with places of interest. The grandeur of the landscapes contrasts with the size of the human body within it, and emphasises the notion of immensity.

Chrystel Chrystel Lebas has exhibited extensively at international level. Her work is represented in the permanent collection of the Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, and in many private and corporate collections. L’espace temps / Time in Space, Lebas recently published her second book, the monograph Between Dog and Wolf.

Prices from £520 from The Photographers Gallery. All prices exclusive of vat and framing and subject to change.

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