Revisiting: Claire de Lune


Parsons Challenge from 2013. I’m realizing how important it is to revisit older work. I really milked the writing on this one…

The concept of this series is the idea of negative space, something vastly over looked in our everyday lives. In fact, we often resist the in-betweens of life, abhor them even, and desperately try to fill the supposed emptiness with more sound, and more stimulation.  Though, in this ‘negative space,’ even for its monotony, lies the most important part of our lives. They stitch together the festivities, and lay the ground work for the thrilling experiences. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “[It was] one of those uneventful times that seem at the moment only a link between past and future pleasure, but turn out to have been the pleasure itself.” We often emerge from the dull and repetitive having enjoyed it more than we expected.

My initial inspiration for this series was Claude Debussy’s Claire De Lune. The piece begins with the simplest of notes. They are delicate, soft and induce feelings of peace, and a remembered ease. One immediately imagines the perfectly modest impressions of black and white piano keys as the song continues, blooming into its full bouquet. What I find beautiful and interesting about this piece of music is not the culmination of notes but the quietness between them. The notes which the listener hears as poignant and profound in their clarity are in fact supported by the pauses and rests which follow each sound. These silences are dense and hold more depth than the sounds created by the piano’s melodic procession. This softness speaks louder than the entire composition of musical notes.

It is the negative spaces and the shadows in these photographs where I aimed to create the focal points and areas of intrigue. I aimed to highlight the shadows, and blur what usually is our prime focus. The ‘negative spaces’ found in our daily life are often overlooked, and their importance is neglected. Many of us are blind to them and underrate the impression they make on our ‘high notes’. Though there they are, creating the peace, the calm, and the balance that combats our highs and our lows.

I executed this series as self portraiture to illuminate the most overlooked, and overused object in our everyday life: ourselves. The vessels which takes us through the incessant light and bottomless shadow. Through our beings we perceive reality, formulate our judgements, and cultivate our worlds. Our opinions of ourselves and of life are often as fragmented as the light seen in these images. Compared to the honesty of reality, our perceptions are blurred, and what we believe to be true is often misconstrued. There are many layers to a person, to a soul, as the layers in a monochrome spectrum of light going from white to black. By creating a blurred composition in these photographs, a mutual level is created between the shadows and the model. It is difficult to distinguish between the two which evokes a feeling of duality amidst the contrast.

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