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Before the storm
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Before the storm

Joost Wensveen

Bretagne Diving mer nage ocean plongeoir

Un mot sur l'oeuvre

Saint-Quay-Portrieux (Côtes d'Armor) , été 2018

Le témoignage de Joost Wensveen

The series started 13 years ago in St Malo, Brittany. Brittany is one of my favored spots in France. I have been there quite a few times for a summer holiday. The coastline and bright skies make it a very inspiring place for photographers. It is also the place where I shot one of my most successful photos: “Crowded at Sea”. The photo has always attracted a lot of people. The National Theatre of La Rochelle is currently using it for their seasonal image (2019-2020). The photo is also the starting point of my connection with the Gallery of Jean Denis. As Jean Denis describes: “Photojournalism is the DNA of the gallery and it is rare for a photomontage to appeal to me, or at least to the point of wanting to exhibit it and offer it for sale. In this case, however, I really fell in love with the photo. Joost happened to visit the gallery, we talked and viewed his website… and he is now one of the artists in my portfolio”.

Jean Denis encouraged me to make “Crowded at Sea” the starting point of this series of natural diving boards. For “Before the Storm”, I decided to return to Brittany, the place where the series started. Close to St Malo, lies the small village of St Quay which boasts a lovely costal pool and diving board. I took a few days off and traveled by train to St Malo and St Quay. When arriving, I was immediately struck again by St Malo’s atmospheric location. The first two days I stayed within the old city walls and shot photos of the centrally located diving board. After two days I relocated to St Quay where “before the Storm” was taken. Unfortunately, the weather had changed when I arrived. There weren’t the crowds of happy people jumping together of the diving board, which you normally find in my series. This forced a change of plan and triggered a happy coincidence. In 2007 I had planned to take a photo in St Malo of a lonely swimmer diving off a beautiful, but desolate diving board into the infinite ocean. Upon arriving, however, the weather was glorious and the diving board was crowded with people. Now again in St Quay the Brittany weather – known for its unpredictability – forced me to change my plans, and I had to switch back to the original idea.

The unpredictability of the weather is one of the elements which makes the Brittany coast a fascinating place for photographers. Though not good for diving, rough weather thrillingly transforms both sea and costal diving boards, especially when there are still people prepared to jump into the wild sea just before the weather worsens.

Le choix de Jean-Denis

Comme d'habitude pour cette série qui compte aujourd'hui 5 photographies, Joost Wensveen utilise la manipulation d'images pour arriver à ses fins et créer la bonne.
Tout s'est passé là, mais pas forcément au même moment.
Elle est plus simple que d'habitude, plus épurée, sa force esthétique tient plus à l'ambiance, la lumière, que comme à l'habitude par la multiplicité des histoires qui s'y déroulent.
Moins joyeuse que les précédentes, un peu plus sombre, mais toujours dans l'esprit de ce travail dont je ne me lasse pas.