An Interview with Valérie SIX.
Who and where are you from?
My name is Valérie SIX. I was born in the Northern part of France where I lived until the age of thirteen before moving with my parents to Paris. I spent many years there before deciding, in 2015, to settle in a quieter city located close to the Atlantic coast in the South-West part of France: Bordeaux.
Attracted by the oriental civilizations, I studied Chinese and made a career in the field of international development before discovering me, 4 years ago, a passion for photography.
How you got into this?
My passion for photography started one day of 2012 when visiting Dubai. I knew, since a couple of years –and a serious health accident- that something was missing in my life but couldn’t put a name on it… until that day, when suddenly, buying a camera became an urgency!
Is it my genetic heritage (I discovered only recently, thanks to a family tree, that my great-grandfather was a photographer on stereo glass plate and a specialist in photo retouching) or repressed feelings and emotions that drove me to this compulsive purchase? Probably both.
The fact is that, only a few months after this purchase, I enrolled in my first photo workshop during the “Rencontres photographiques” in Arles and decided, 2 years later, to quit my job to take a training course at “Gobelins,Ecole de l’image”school in France. I chose at the same time to move from Paris to Bordeaux, the town of origin -this, also, I learned it recently- of my great-grandfather.
What is your driving force?
I am attracted as a magnet by the extraordinary arrangement, in some places, of lines, curves, light, shadows and colors. Frames impose themselves on me as if by enchantment! I see them as gifts of urban life that remind me, in another way, these wonderful gifts of nature we can see in certain flowers or butterflies... whose shape, texture, colors... seem to get straight out of a magic wand!
What kind of work you do and why?
The numerous trips made during my professional life naturally brought me towards the cities and peri-urban areas that I constantly pace since then, in search of this precious alchemy between beauty, sense and emotion.
Initially eager to transcribing the atmosphere of a specific town or region, cities now appear to me as formidable fields of observation and exploration of our modern society: architecture, work, fashion, leisure, human ability to adapt to the changes… weave the backdrop, often in a little surrealist way, of my images.
A way also for me to sound my own emotions and give meaning to more personal questions about the complexity of existence.