Barren Sublimity – Photography by Morgane Erpicum


Distinguishable is what we would describe Morgan Erpicum's analogue photography. The landscapes you will see in her body of work may be uncharted territory – unfamiliar, otherworldly, yet comfortable. As an advocate of reconnecting us humans to nature, she photographs secret, tucked-away terrains with utter sublimity.

Based in Brussels, Morgane has always been called by artistic passions – from painting, sculpting, to music – however, it's with photography wherein she truly identifies with. Having received her first film camera as a gift from her then-fiance and now-husband, she learned the ropes of analogue photography from her lover. Her first shots were taken during her wedding.

From there on, finding her style came smoothly and naturally. Her goal is to capture the beauty of the terrains in accuracy – to be as authentic as possible. Post-processing in the darkroom is very minimal, as she would pick emulsions that would provide a natural tonal range. For Morgane, it's merging authenticity with surrealism.

Morgane researches for these picturesque locations, going through months of planning before setting out to shoot. She prefers places that are out of social media's radar, prioritizing the raw, untainted elegance of nature – “ I only wish our world could keep its secrets a while longer,” she tells us. When reviewing her photographs, one might feel this overwhelming vastness of the Earth. We asked Morgane if she feels emptiness, or maybe even loneliness while seizing these moments with the horizon:

“Through comfortable solitude – and not loneliness, the distinction is important to me – I found myself. It’s an incredibly empowering experience, really. Nothing but the landscape stretching till the horizon, the camera, your body as an interface, and your Self. By finding myself, I managed to make peace with my Self, from which stemmed true acceptance. I think that this sense of total acceptance translates into the emptiness you describe. To me, it’s a soothing feeling and more of one that makes me feel whole rather empty. But then again, maybe it is emptiness you feel and I am unaware of it.”

These open spaces and pastel palette are intentional and are part of this authentic sublimity she's going after. Morgane likens her work to the 18th-century painters who went after the most natural representation of Nature. That's also how Morgane would recommend approaching photography. Instead of coming in with a mindset of a photographer, she enters territories as a guardian of nature and beauty:

“Walk around, take in the scenery. When an angle grabs you, try to focus your composition on the detail that caught your eye. It could be a ripple in the sand, a cloud in the distance, a leaf fluttering in the wind. Beauty resides in the details, and by rendering these details precisely, you make the whole scene come alive.”

Morgane not only uses film but also integrates other mediums into her photography. She would collaborate with painters and artists too. Some of the pieces are photo collages, collages of pictures and drawings, some with silver gelatin prints. Experiments keep her going. Morgane's yet to show them to the public, but her mixed media oeuvre is definitely be something to look forward to.

For more of Morgane's minimalist horizons, visit her website or get updated through her Instagram and Facebook. All rights reserved to Morgane Erpicum.

written by cielsan on 2019-01-07 #people

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