Jan 21, 2019
Morgane is a Belgian photographer inspired by nature and vulnerable landscapes, who uses photography as a way to express her concerns about the ecological destruction that we are currently undergoing. In this way, her pristine creations seek to raise awareness about the beauty that surrounds us and that could be lost if we don't act.
Using minimalist compositions and a soft palette of colours, Morgane creates images that are calming, alluring and inspiring, and definitely invite us to find ways to protect these environments.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
ME - I’m from Brussels, Belgium. I have moved around a lot after graduating from high school. I was living on the west coast of the US for a couple of months, then moved to the UK for my studies until the completion of my Masters in Osteopathy.
From then on, my husband and I bounced from the UK to New Zealand, then back in Europe, then South and North America for six months, then back to Belgium to save some money for our next big step.
I have mostly been working as an osteopath for the first few years, then got madly obsessed with film photography at the end of 2015 and started making money on the side with exhibitions and print sales.
Right now, we are preparing a move to Iceland, which hopefully will bring new and exciting opportunities to develop my photography.
am - How did you start in photography?
ME - Photography is certainly the last artistic discipline I gave a try (after music, painting, writing, drawing and too many others to count).
I was 24 the first time I picked up a film camera and started shooting. In fact, my husband gave me a pristine Olympus OM1N for my 21st birthday, remembering how much fun he’d had in high school shooting, scanning and developing. While I knew he was most definitely onto something, I didn’t dare to use it for a few years, instead trying to learn as much as I could in books and online.
To this day, I am still not sure why it took me so long to dive in. I took a chance at my wedding, feeling the need to document some intimate moments myself. From then on, my obsession with film photography became frenzied.
Luckily, I was just about to leave for six months of traveling. I relished the opportunity to practice without interruption. However, I’d never even shot C41 film before. It was a big risk, one I was mercifully unconscious of at the time.
I grabbed a few film rolls, devoured some forums on exposure and film stocks and just left with two lenses and the Olympus body.
am - We can see that your work is clear, pure and minimalist, what attracts you about this?
ME - The reasons behind the minimalism of my work are pretty simple. To keep it short, the first one is that I have an incredibly busy mind. Photography is an anti-anxiety portal into meditation for me. The second one is that what drives me is ecological advocacy. I have figured out that the best way to get people involved in making durable changes to their daily lives and make them aware of the direness of the situation is through positive emotions. Fear and anger do not inspire people to change, but falling in love with the landscapes that we may very well loose in the next thirty years, now, that’s a motor. My way to enhance these landscapes is to reveal the authenticity of their textures, their contours and contrasts, their Sublimity, through the lightest compositions.
am - What inspires your work?
ME - Experiencing and breathing the landscapes I chase around the world, for one. I mostly focus on extreme areas of the globe, which are the most vulnerable to change. I have to admit I also get a lot of inspiration from artists such as Rothko, who gave a modern twist to the old Romantics’ ideals. I strive to provoke the same revelatory response.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
ME - I find it quite peculiar, but none of my favorite artists are photographers, other than Hedi Slimane. The strong lines, the austere framing, the unusual angles are what I ultimately wish I could produce. What’s funny is that the overwhelming darkness of both, his editorial and fine art work doesn’t bother me at all. I find his shooting incredible, even though he stands at the antipodes of the light and colour palettes that I favour.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
ME - I prefer series to movies, because they are so much more immersive. That’s also why I prefer reading to any form of multimedia. I guess I would pick anything by Xavier Dolan, and the movies "A beautiful Mind" and "the Green Mile" as all-time favourites. My tastes in movies are incredibly dramatic (I like a good cry). I find my fair share of light, nature, life lessons, peace and vocation in books.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
ME - There are too many to count. I have to mention Slimane’s "Stage", which was the first photobook I bought myself. Same for Guy Bourdain’s “In Between”. Right now, my favourite photobook is Manon Lanjouère’s “Demande à la poussière”.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
All images © Morgane Erpicum