Philippe Dannic has found his anchor point in Belle-Ile-en-Mer. It’s there that he has developed his love affair with the ocean. It’s there, on the coastlines that he selects depending on the movement of the tides and the sea swell, that he is faced with the immensity that fascinates him. Not a day goes by without him going to commune with the sea, which he has a need to observe, to inhale. To feel, in all the senses of the word. Nothing makes him give up these encounters, neither the lashing rain nor the blustering winds. From the rocky coast, bursting with feelings and emotions, he establishes a passionate interaction with the waves and the sea spray. The movement of the Atlantic Ocean is as varied as it is incessant.
The colours of the sea and its shades embellish daily celebrations, sometimes calm, sometimes thrilling. Depending on the weather or the time of day, the light invigorates the experience. It shimmers, it darkens, it helps or complicates the photographers quest. It brushes the surface of the water with evanescent flashes.
A few artists, like François Puyplat, Kevin Griffin, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Clifford Ross, Syoin Kajii, have photographed marine landscapes, the undulating waves and foaming whitecaps, flat horizons without limit. Dannic differentiates himself from them by his consistency, his perseverance, and above all his passionate communion with the sea.
“I love this wild noise where infinity begins” wrote Victor Hugo in The Four Winds of the Spirit. Like the poet, Dannic is a mystic of this sea, who never ceases to stimulate his wonderment until he produces, combining intuition and obsession, a successful photographic achievement.
In 2010 I started taking pictures of more than two thousand eight hundred people from Belle Ile. I took the
pictures in front of a simple black background, they could wear the ou>it of their choice. I had called the
opera?on “sincere portraits”. Later on the portraits were printed on plas?c sheets and exhibited on several
occasions on our walls.
Today, with this book, I want to take the experiment a bit further. I would like to give fourty people from Belle Ile a chance to explain, in a few words, what it meant to them to choose to live on the island of Belle Ile. Throughout the year of 2016 I conducted interviews. I did not try to be exhaus?ve, only to reflect as faithfully as possible the variety of people that live on the island: farmers, fishermen, priests, craJmen, shopkeepers, restaurant owners, etc.
This is not either a list of prize winners, many other endearing personali?es would have diserved to appear in these pages, and for those who do appear, I some?mes had to insist before they accepted making me the honor of accep?ng to par?cipate.
Consequently, I am very thankful to those who trusted me and showed enthusiasm for this project and were pleased to work with my camera or the voice recorder.
It’s been years now that on each of the four seasons, I’ve lived on Belle-Ile and photographed the island on its every aspect,
in its excessiveness and in its smallest details.
These pictures try to recall my very emotions in front of the unique nature and men living there.
Even when he is working on a far fetched project, the frenchman Philippe Dannic doesn’t spend a day without
reaching to the sea, in his need to contemplate, hum and feel it, on all the acceptions of the word.
It really is a question of encounter and dialogue between him and the ocean, or even a notion close to a rare kind of wedding, cool at times and furious at others. Colour is another attendant to this union as well as light, moving with the climate changes, the hours running, softening or sharpening their daily meetings.
« I love the wild noise where the infinite starts », wrote Victor Hugo in his Four Winds of the Mind. Alike him, Philippe Dannic is a mystic of the ocean who cannot stop tonifying the landscapes of his affections.
Every picture on this site is issued on a limited print numbered and signed by the author.
Printed with ink jet on Hahnemüle 300g/m2, 100% cotton paper.
An authenticity cerificate « art trust » is delivered with each print.
Philippe Dannic, professional photographer for more than forty years now, has been for most of his carreer a passionate of the marine environement. Ten years ago, his work gradually shaped as a research on the suggested aesthetics brought by the live material coming from the sea. He now describes himself as a « wawe spotter », spending quite long hours at the ocean’s side, feeling almost the life inside the waves, searching for an inspiration fed on their instantaneous movement and the chromatic wealth its natural elements : the light, winds, tides, all the combinations of solid and liquid matters, being the substance of the ocean itself.
Between him and the waves, there is « an encounter, a dialogue, almost a wedding ceremony, a relationship sometimes still and sometimes exalted. His vision, his feeling of all senses, his creative emotions gives us a work that mixes photography, graphic creation, going as far as abstract painting.
In 2009, Pierre Borhan, Director of the Photographic Patrimony at the Ministère de la Culture, an expert who had collaborated with the greatest art and photography magazines and been a passionate art collector, chose Dannic to present four of his photographs in the prestigious book « Art de la Mer, an anthology of seabound photography since 1843, Arthaud publisher, Where he stands side by side with the greatest photographers of the sea for more than 150 yearsGet the biography in pdf format