'The forest is a fascinating place; one can feel attracted to its grandeur, or scared by its depth and darkness. This space of immensity echoes our childhood memories, through fairytale or play. Walking through the forest of my childhood in France, after many years, I remembered when we used to build a hut, and slowly the light would disappear, and darkness would surround us.'
Chrystel Lebas shot the Abyss series in forests where twilight, rather than creating a theatrical abundance of light and colour, heralds their loss. Using a panoramic camera and long exposures, Lebas observes the effects of the fading light, creating images that contain an imprint of the event as it unfolds over time.
The film Blue Hour invites us to experience the twilight in a Wiltshire bluebell wood in real time; to become aware of the barely perceptible shifts and nuances of the falling light and the sounds of the wood. Lebas has also made hour-long exposures at twilight near the border of Finland and Russia, where in winter twilight starts around 2pm.
These images are often the starting point for an investigation of childhood memories or the darker side of fairy tales. She calls her most recent work Between Dog and Wolf - a translation of the French expression for twilight that suggests its transformative and dangerous potential.http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/photography/twilight/lebas/index.html
Gallery Vassie is proud to present a new series of photographs by Chrystel Lebas. Part of a larger series, this exhibition includes the ‘Blue Hour’ series of images from a bluebell forest in Wiltshire, England. Which were taken in France, Germany, Spain and Japan between 2003 and 2006.
The bluebells form a vast purple carpet extended to infinity in a forest just emerging from winter. Minimal natural light allows the bluebell to emit a blue ray that vibrates against the light green of unfurling foliage. The resulting vibrant colour indicates the symbolism of ‘the green ray’ or ‘magic hour’ of fairytales, stories and legends.
Chrystel Lebas graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1997. Her photographs appear in several international private and public collections and this exhibition coincides with an exhibition of Lebas’s work at The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, where her work is also held in their permanent collection. Her first monograph L’espace temps – Time in Space, received the British Book Design and Production Award 2004 and was exhibited at the Rencontres d’Arles Book Award 2004.
This new body of work made between 2003-2006 are photographs taken in forests in France, Germany, Finland and Japan during the hours of twilight. The forest is a fascinating place; one can feel attracted to its grandeur or scared by its depth and darkness. This space of immensity echoes our childhood memories through fairytale or play. “Walking to the forest of my childhood in France, after many years, I remember when I used to build a hut, and slowly the light would disappear, and darkness would surround us. The excitement of being inside this small shelter, protected by the large trees, overturned our fears and instead we felt protected.” Says Lebas.
These images are taken in places, such as the Black Forest in Germany, which are imbued with myth and legends. The forest is a fascinating place; one can feel attracted to it’s grandeur, or scared by its depth and darkness.’ Chrystel Lebas from Between Dog & Wolf.
Chrystel Lebas’s new book — Between Dog and Wolf, a monograph, is also available for purchase at the gallery.
Chrystel Lebas is represented by Gallery Vassie where her work is held permanently in stock. Please ask to view further images.