When I started taking landscape photographs, the focus was most often on the sky I had my head in the clouds, my gaze upwards. There was always a lot of negative space as I was often told. Sure, there is no denying about it. It gave me a new found childlike amazement of the world around me, fueled by the fact I was in the USA when it all started and I had a bigger horizon that what I had been used to in London.
If I recall as a child, growing up on the top floor apartment,my eyes were always glued to the sky, or at the house by the beach I would often sit by the shore, when a little sad and stare at the horizon, where sky and ocean meet. As a kid I often daydreamed of flying off the balcony, escape. I always wanted to fly away, far very far from the family home. It stayed with me, a recurrent daydream. Even if during my teenage years and early twenties, I seem to have trouble really taking off and looked and felt more like having fallen off the nest, like in this picture at 23 years old.
So what about that negative space?What is a negative/empty space anyway.There is no such thing as empty, nature, doesnt like empty.It’s always filled with something, tangible or not, visible or not.
In 2014, in the new year I wrote on my little note book, the big mess of sentences and meandrous word lines illustrating my thoughts and occasional insights: this will be a flying year. Little did I know it would become literal. This is the year where, staying faithful to my yellow shoes and yellow thread I shot a flying yellow lines, flying yellow shoes, ( thanks to Erwan from Airone Parapente in Morocco ) and learnt to skydive with yellow pants and shoes, and learned to get over motion sickness while shooting while paragliding! All for the sake of doing aerial photography.
There I am navigating through that negative space, and let me tell you something, there is nothing negative about it! Quite the contrary, as I am headed to get my full licence and learn to shoot in that space, learn to navigate my body, move around and swim in the air, fly like a bird, there are already a lot of visual ideas germinating in my brain, waiting for the time I have enough skill to materialize them. The so called negative space in the air, is in every sense positive! a matrix.
There is something truely magical in learning to navigate in totally new territory, creating a new geography, a totally new proprioceptive, new parameters in which to move your body new markers, pushing a boundary, tracing new paths up there, and most of all overcoming fear, this emotion that takes us in the most irrational way sometimes. ( and jumping off a plane is one of my only fears in life). Taking myself to new limits and a very physical implication and perception in all my ideas is a leitmotiv.. So is answering a call. A call as much in term of challenge as it is in terms of creative potential and ideas to pursue.
Does it make sense? is it reasonable? Negative.
Do i have to do it? Positive.
Not many know, but we artist are put through the test of time and patience so many times when it comes to turning into something tangible, this flux of ideas and emotions that runs through our heads. And here I can say my patience is put through a test, I am a slow learner I will confess on the skydive journey, i am not a natural on this, far from it. Stay tuned in the coming years, I will share what is brewing in my head up in the air, visually.