PHOTO : @ladybird.notes on Instagram |it was them| the rainy smooth rhythm of a sparkled path to reality.
The first posting of @ladybird.notes @RainStations on Instagram, was a beautiful B&W rain puddle reflection composition with the words running in perfect synchronisation with the image. It communicated strong sentiments of Rain and of someone with whom I knew I wanted to talk to about Rain, but didn’t know how or when!
A compelling and intriguing aspect of Instagram is the communication through images and how much someone can understand about the individual posting and their responses, in my particular regard, RAIN.
Having been inspired by the subsequent number of the poetic postings about RAIN by @ladybird.notes, I felt I needed to ask if she would be interested in taking part in a Rain-Drop-InstaView – A short Interview about RAIN. She enthusiastically agreed!
With Many Thanks and Kind Permission, I am here able to write a transcript of the interview with Claudia,
M: What is the first word that comes to your mind when I say the word RAIN?
C: The first word is…. Beach. It can be quite funny, because for me, RAIN goes with the Atlantic Ocean. That’s why I choose this photography to illustrate this ‘RAIN Drop’. It’s a photograph I took in Brittany, I was on the beach, there was a mirror on the little wooden house where the life guards go. I was facing that mirror and could see what was happening on the beach behind me. That is why you can see drops on the photograph on the mirror. Then you see a very small silhouette of someone who was walking on the beach. It goes with it. A landscape of someone walking on the beach while it was raining. I do love this photograph because it is quite pure and finite, it was windy you could hear the ocean, but for me it’s really the impression I have when it’s raining even if I’m in the city.
M: It’s like connecting two waters…
C: Yeah, I grew up in Brittany, which is located in the West of France. It’s the End of the Earth! The name of the Department of this Region is called ‘Finist Źre’ which means the ‘End of the Earth’ and it rains several times a day! That’s why for me, each time it rains, wherever I am, I am thinking about the ocean.
M: What is your earliest memory of RAIN?
C: Actually I couldn’t tell you because it’s something which comes from childhood. It’s something very natural for me. I know a lot of rains. In Brittany you’ve got so many types of RAIN. It’s like nuances of colours, or of the ocean. I don’t remember which language has something like 1000 words to describe the different colours of the ocean. So for me it is the same for the RAIN. It can be small, strong, foggy. With each of them comes an atmosphere, a sensation, a mood too.
M: Are there words in French that you are aware of , that express RAIN in different ways? I know in Nordic languages there are lots of words for snow….
C: There are a few in french…. Bruine for example is a very small one , you can see the drops it is very thin and makes you very wet quite quickly! The common word in french for rain is ‘pluie’ but there are not so many words to describe the variety of rains …
M: I think this is probably where it is interesting that through photography you can express the RAIN in so many ways where the words are limited.
C: Indeed… That’s why, I started a Serie “Kiss The Rain” for about 2 years now where I treat RAIN with poetry and try to figure different kinds of RAIN. In that serie I play with shadows, reflections, light, movements of people. All these approaches are meant to express all the moods, all the sensations, all the feelings that come with the RAIN.
M: One of the things I have looked at in the past and still fascinates me, is the timeframes of RAIN – The Before, The During, The After and then you are left with the Memory of RAIN and I think all of those have a place in our experience. Are there any particular times for you, which you find are the most engaging, I guess?
C: I love the three different steps and “Kiss the Rain” is about all these even if I’m already thinking about documenting the times before and after the rain then with two other series. Before the RAIN there’s like an emergency in the air that I like. The light after the rain, the atmosphere are beautiful, pure, as there is no more dust in the air. This light is very special. So trying to capture these three times of RAIN would be a real challenge to me.
M: So, you are a Photographer and Journalist…?
C: I do a lot of things! I started Photographing when I was something like 13. At this age I wanted to be a Photojournalist! Since that time I never stopped taking photographies. I studied Human Sciences, traveled, worked for long as a working girl… Then I decided it was enough, I didn’t want that type of life any more. Several years ago, I opened a gallery where I defended the work of Photographers and young Fashion Designers. At the same time, I have started to work very much on photography and writings as an independent journalist. Photography has always been there. I have different Series running, I also did some short movies and am working on a new one. Little by little things are going on…
M: I did have another question about photography and RAIN and Photographers and RAIN. Having now seen thousands of pictures on Instagram, what is very interesting is that sometimes you can browse a Gallery with amazing outdoor shots and nothing with RAIN! Then in other Galleries there is a lot of RAIN so it seems that some people can engage with it more easily. Maybe it is a practical thing that you have equipment which you don’t want to get wet! What do you think stops people from taking pictures in the RAIN?
C: Cameras don’t like RAIN. It is not easy! As far as I am concerned I can’t be under the RAIN with an umbrella . I can’t manage to hold an umbrella and a camera at the same time. I couldn’t focus, attend to the light, the movement of people with it. When I go out to take pictures in the RAIN I am just covered as if I were fishing close to the ocean!
M: Do you take an umbrella with you?
C: No. I never use an umbrella. I always loose them by the way!
M: A question I often ask and wander myself is in what type of RAIN do we feel comfortable? I think it maybe a question of temperature, not necessarily the RAIN and getting wet but more that you might feel cold and wet or windy, cold and wet that causes our discomfort. What do you think about our comfort zone of RAIN? Are you comfortable in the RAIN?
C: I am definitely. I love it! Really! It’s such a great sensation to be crossed by wind and water . I feel the same when I walk along the beach to see the ocean. It’s so refreshing and I love it, even better, during winter, windy and rainy. So for me, even if I’m in a city, when it’s raining, It reminds me of the ocean. For me rain has to see with this sensation each time. For some people it might be just a disagreement for being wet because it disturbs the appearance you took time on , in the morning. Rain pushes you but I like that.
M: So RAIN challenges you?
C: Yes, I love that.
M: I love that challenge too! So would there be any aspect of RAIN that you do not like then?
C: No. None. I am really happy when it RAINS outside. If I am indoors, I have to look outside as something always happens when it RAINS. People are running, you can see the different colours. You see the Mother with one umbrella wanting to protect her kid, you can see lovers with one big umbrella, you can see an old woman trying to carry a basket with her food shopping and holding her black umbrella. There are elegant people who have great bright colourful umbrella that want to stand still in the street, not running. Until the wind comes and takes their umbrella. It’s a funny thing! I love these stories! I am a storyteller first of all with photographs.
M: What is your most dramatic memory of RAIN?
C: I don’t have any dramatic memory. I could have been sometimes sad at the moment when it was raining but it was not because of RAIN. It was just a coincidence.
M: You’ve mentioned that you always love RAIN. Again, this is a question that I often ask myself why rain is often associated to sadness?
C: It is a common idea to assimilate RAIN with sadness because it is so close to crying. That is why the image of RAIN is so often a melancholic one which comes with about nostalgia, lost paradise, lost love. It is not the RAIN itself, it is just the physical structure of RAIN – RAIN is a victim of what it is. This is the first thing. The second thing is when some people see the RAIN falling they identify to the weather and they feel like crying as if it was a moment they were allowed to be sad.
M: There is the other side of the coin that without it, there isn’t life!
M: My view is more to celebrate it; but it is on balance. We cannot survive without it. We have evolved to work with it. There have been gaps in our evolutionary history that have had great absences of RAIN and as humanity we have been forced to think ‘Now what…? And come up with solutions. An evolution with RAIN.’
C: This is a practical and a real vision of what RAIN is. Most of the time when you see art photographs of RAIN they are poetry and feelings. Most of the time they do not treat RAIN as a climatic phenomenon and in that way. It’s like two different approaches.
@ladybird.notes Inspirations about Rain.
Where Water comes Together with Other Water (1983)
Woke up this morning with
A terrific urge to lie in bed all day
read. Fought against it for a minute.
Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
In the keep of this rainy morning.
Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgivable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.
C: It’s a poem by Raymond Carver, an American author. The poem is called simply RAIN. It was published in a book called ‘Where Water comes Together with other Water’. It’s about a man who wants to stay in his bed and tries to fight against that. It is raining outside and he stays in his bed. Then comes the reflection, an idea about his life: if he had a chance to start everything from the beginning what would he do? He says he would definitely like to start everything again. For me RAIN is also to be wet, to take risk. When we talked earlier about why people don’t really like RAIN for me this poem says that if you don’t want to be wet you might not live all that you have to live in your life.
I also have two book references for you. They are not about RAIN but they do explain my relationship to RAIN:The first is a book by William Boyd, a great writer of short stories, in a book called Fascination, and the short story is called “The Woman on the Beach with a Dog”. It is a very simple title. It is about someone walking on the beach and she has memories. She let’s them submerge her and things happen so….
The second book is by Norman Levine under the title The PlayGround. In French it was translated to: LaPlage en Hiver, (The Beach in Winter). The path of a man who comes into a café across from the beach and the sensation. It is a short story but it is also poetry about that kind of moment when the sky is quite heavy but when they are people solitary. For me RAIN is also that. You can be alone under the RAIN and enjoy this peaceful moment.
Federico Albanese, ‘Disclosed’.
C : Something that does not have RAIN in the title. A piece of music by Frederico Albanese, the title is ‘Disclosed’ which for me means ‘revealed’. RAIN is that! RAIN just reveals things. How people behave in front of RAIN, which kind of things they do, how they react, how they feel when it RAINS. It is beautiful soft piano music. RAIN for me is a sensation. It has to do with Brittany and with solitude, and this is why I choose this poem, story, music and photograph. For me : Do you want to be wet or not with life? And if you are comfortable with you under the RAIN you can do whatever you want. For me the RAIN is always joyful, funny and lightful most of all. It’s just how I feel with it.
M: You transport people, with your images and stories, instinctively to your feelings about RAIN, so beautifully. Thank-you so much for sharing your RAIN here too!
Please check out the Wonderful Instagram page @ladybird.notes to see stunning B&W images of Rain, Paris, the Ocean and more, created by a Storyteller with Extraordinary perception infusing her tales with delicate intrigue….