“Panorama started as a haze of thoughts upon returning from a solitary excursion to Quebec,” begins illustrator Lisa Mouchet on her newly released book. “Presented as a diary from my travels through Montréal, Gaspésie and the fjords, it interweaves illustration, photographs and writings.” After accumulating roughly 100 small drawings and a large quantity of negatives from her trip, Lisa approached her friend and regular collaborator Oscar Ginter. A designer at Quintal Studio, he suggested that, with his help, she create a publication with them.
With a background in bookmaking, which she gained as part of her studies at the Arts décoratifs de Strasbourg, Lisa already had extensive experience with these kinds of projects. “During my time there, I was involved in silkscreen printing, engraving, curating and distribution,” she says. Coupled with Oscar’s guidance, the pair set to work making sense of the material Lisa had brought back with her. “From the moment we decided to bring this project to life, it took us more than six months to complete,” she says. “We handmade the 350 copies of Panorama at Oscar’s new workplace (Paris Print Club) with the precious help of a lot of friends.”
After many long days and nights spent toiling away, the final result is a publication worthy of their efforts. Placed alongside delicate still-life shots, landscapes and architectural drawings are also atmospheric photographs of structural features like walls and windows. “I have a passion for architecture, for ghostly spaces, deprived of humans but with a strong presence coming from an object, a shadow or a spot of colour,” Lisa explains. “For this project, I tried to be in-between; not to show too much, to let the reader think and travel through the pages.”
In this respect, Lisa has certainly achieved her aim. Panorama is a meditative read. Devoid of human presence, the artwork is quiet and contemplative. It provides a glimpse into various parts of her journey, yet does not feel chronological. Lisa’s fascination with the finer details presents the reader with beautiful studies of light, structure and composition. The colours juxtapose, with soft shades complementing the bolder flashes of reds and blues, and all of them equally benefiting from the richness of risograph.
In the same way that Lisa pays attention to detail in her work, Panorama itself is a very considered creation. Arranged so that there is a dialogue between the drawings and the photos, the real and the imaginary become so harmonious as to be almost indistinguishable. Painstaking and time-consuming as this process was, Lisa says her and Oscar’s diligence allowed them to create the book “exactly as we wanted it to be”.
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