Nature can soothe. Contemplating the landscape, particularly in the early morning when the sunrise vibrates with color, sculpting forms and causing structures and vegetation to interact against the transparency of air, at times reflecting a spectrum of colors in water, is an invitation to peace and tranquility. Vasantha Yogananthan sought to bring these elements into the Poitiers hospital space in France, where he was invited to do a residency. He found this outdoor component in the immediate vicinity of the hospital, gathering delicate images with elements that are at times fragile, fluid, and elegant, carefully framing them while allowing them to breathe within the vertical rectangle. This outdoors, reconstructed as a fresco, checkerboard, composition and collage is a breath of fresh air, an invitation to lose yourself in a familiar environment, while rediscovering it as one of life’s simple pleasures, an invitation to reassess the world. To do so, no single shade is brighter than another, no stridency, no affectation, simply a subtle visual music that understatedly invites you to open and close your eyes in discovery and reflection. Harmony.
There is clearly a search for a form of beauty that is more concerned with the right tone than with any conventional beauty standards. But beneath this colorful expanse whose inner rhythms draw us in, there is a reflection on the gaze, a metaphor and analysis in action of how we see, or no longer know how to see. A desire to awaken, to reawaken our gaze, to open our eyes fully but slowly. Vasantha Yogananthan challenges us by shifting distances, by observing from both near and far, in and out of focus, softening and blurring. What do we see? How do we see? Do we see?
The photographer is compelled to deconstruct the world, to slice through spaces, to frame as if analysing. He must then reconstruct it in other ways in order to share his vision. This is the case here, with gentle light, harmoniously focusing on the yellow of a few flowers that guide our gaze through a large and soothing tableau.