À la recherche du silence
As much for their mystery as for their meaning, the statues of Vaux-le- Vicomte, captivated me from our first encounter. Aged for 350 years in the gardens created by André le Nôtre, the poetry of the dialogue between their sculptural forms, the light and the geometry and architecture of the gardens, within the context of the seemingly impenetrable silence of the mute statues inspired within me a desire to explore this unspoken exchange. This project aims to immortalise more than three centuries of interaction between the stone bodies and their environment, and invites us to consider the ways in which these works of art have lived through, and throughout, history. Through the lens of the camera these statues, which have stood in the open air, exposed to the elements and the ravages of time, are transformed from inanimate stone into witnesses of history. Through the focus of the lens they are brought to life; made into living bodies. This material alteration of stone to flesh prompts a multitude of opportunities for exploration: to see them as living and to let our imaginations run wild. I first visited the gardens in the magical atmosphere of twilight. In that first encounter I sensed fragments of conversations coming from the mouths of Hermes and Socrates, or was it Neptune whispering to Minerva… or perhaps it was just the wind? What can these statues tell us? In the space between life and death, they exist as a point of continuity between the two, where before they have stood silently threading together the centuries, they now become subjects of transition, symbolising landmarks of history in the landscape of eternity.