A quiet Mediterranean journey

While the world was at a stop during the pandemic, I was travelling along the Mediterranean coast and decided to maintain this nomad way of life for a few weeks.  Adapting to local rules and new restrictions, I wandered around as the crisis evolved. Because of the unprecedented situation, it happened to be a very slow journey, giving me the opportunity to take more time to create and photograph what was in my immediate surroundings…” — Aude Le Barbey

Since I was constrained to move slower, it made the creative process more calming. I found out how limitations can stimulate creativity in new ways. I had to adapt to a new temporality, allowing my senses to awaken and heighten my sense of observation. The quietness imposed by nature made the surroundings even more striking. I experienced a certain feeling of inertia as most of the people were staying inside – the outside considered as a potential danger at the time. I felt deeply inspired by the emptiness, the calm, and the light of the Mediterranean Sea.

This gave me the opportunity to undertake a photographic series, as a souvenir of my itinerary through Spain, Italy and Greece. It associates poetic contemplations and still life shots composed with naturals findings. During this coastal escape, the fragments of shells collected on the beach, the fineness of plants and the weight of pebbles mingled with infinite landscapes. From the preciousness of close-up shots to the beauty of marine horizons, my lens oscillated between the near and the far, the detail and the distance. Observing the seabed every day, strolling in the harbours and on the cliffs, my gaze has wandered through the natural elements with the desire to celebrate the beauty of nature: the rock, the water, the vegetation, the air, and the sky. I think a certain feeling of tranquility emerges from this series as this quiet journey happened to serve as a break from the anxiety surrounding us at the time, a halt in the frenzy of the movement, and a way to reflect upon about the creative process.

Words and Photography by Aude Le Barbey