Internationally acclaimed photographer Maroesjka Lavigne is about to release her debut monograph, collating together a decade’s worth of work. Travelling extensively around the world for each series – which have exhibited at the likes of Foam Talent and The Robert Mann Gallery in New York – the book comprises of Ísland_, Not Seeing is a Flower, Land of Nothingness and Lost Lands which led the artist to spend time in the likes of Argentina, Iceland, Japan and Namibia to name just a few.
The first project Ísland, which is Iceland in Icelandic, was Maroesjka’s graduation project, made during her master’s degree at Ghent university. “For this series, I spent four months in Iceland, mostly driving on my own through the desolate snow-covered landscapes of winter and sprint,” explains the photographer. She spent her time looking out for a moment when colour, light and subject simultaneously merged together to form a moment that really stood out. Upon encountering copious amounts of stark imagery, with this series Maroesjka explored the Icelandic relationship with its overwhelming surrounding nature, and how this relationship manages to sustain itself.
For the second project Not Seeing is a Flower, Maroesjka took several trips to Japan. “When I was there, an expression I heard a lot was: ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’.” Before she’d visited the Eastern country, Maroesjka’s ideas of Japan were filled with Ukiyo-e prints like the works of Hiroshima and Hokusai. Acknowledging her diluted, Western perception of Japanese culture, Maroesjka wanted to explore Japan through a lens of contemporary beauty, which she captures through stunning photography. The breathtaking images pay homage to the old printmakers, drawing out intricate textures and bold compositions with each beautiful photograph.
In the monograph’s third project, Maroesjka traveled to Namibia for Land of Nothingness. A country named after the desert, Namibia is one of the least densely populated places on earth. “Defined by its rich variety of colours, yet forever changing, Namibia’s landscape draws you in,” says Maroesjka. “Through a vast brown plane of scorched earth which steers you over the white surface of a salt pan, you finally arrive at the gold tones of the sand tunes,” she adds on the African landscape.
“Patience is required to discover the wide range of Namibia’s subtle scenery,” as hours and hours can go by of driving through nothing. She documents the rare sightings of other people and herds of animals, as well as the delicately coloured landscapes she spent mammoths of time driving through. “Time seems to move slower but it feels more logical somehow,” she says on the languid topography that is photographed with complete stillness.
The fourth and final series titled, Lost Lands, is to be exhibited this fall at The Robert Mann Gallery, and altogether, these four projects culminate in Maroesjka’s sizeable monograph to be released later this year.
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