A particular view from a particular spot in a particular place: a line of poplar trees, bringing with it a rush of other sensorial associations; a breeze as dry and heated as from a baker’s oven, the gentle chuck-chucking of soporific chickens, and the prickle of skin that’s likely seen too much sun for one day.
With its back tight up against the rise of the woods, and its chalky face looking out over the meadow, the Widow’s House is effortlessly photographic – or do I mean, cinematic? Every time I visit France, I take another photograph of this silent, empty dwelling, drawn to it like an illustration in a book of fairy tales that both delights and spooks.
I was sitting in the garden of a small, rustic restaurant in rural France when this photograph was taken, seated under a large tree with coloured lights threaded through its branches and drinking from a small cold glass of Pineau. The sky was pink, my camera struggling with the failing light, and so producing softness and imprecision and strange halos, and giving me this nicely illustrative result.
From all the way back in 2009, some reminders of a happy place, and of late summer days, and very simple pleasures, and of time, slowing.
I’m slightly torturing myself with this image, taken in some dusty French town in the late summer of 2011. I can almost feel the stored heat coming off that chalky white wall…