Situated in French « département » (Local County) Maine et Loire, the Layon valley is a fragile hilly territory, mostly devoted to agriculture and wine. My objective was to lay a very attentive eye on those landscapes. To carry out this project, I stayed several times in this area, roaming along roads and country lanes at different times of the year within a 25 kilometer radius around Beaulieu-Sur-Layon.
With the opening of the new A87 motorway and creation of new industrial or commercial zones, as well as the proximity of the city of Angers, many people are attracted to the area, which is gradually becoming sort of a suburb of Anger. This “suburbisation” or periurbanisation of this part of the territory is very likely to trigger quick and dramatic change of the countryside in the years to come.
Keeping all this at the back of my mind, I immersed myself in these indecisive places in order to better approach them and observe their “changing realities”. Those who live there on daily basis very often do not -or hardly- perceive the changes. Photography helps show reality or en-light the different stages of the actual or future changes.
It is important to keep an attentive eye on these fragile territories, which are always in movement, mutating. The alterations reflect our exigent demands or expectations as well as our carelessness or forgetfulness. Wineyards ending at the foot of brand new houses on a brand new estate, cement pillars in the background of the valley, green flow of trees or wrought out vines…throughout those places, space takes on new forms; the land appears as it is was as I explored it. Photographs do not decode everything, they tell a story, and bear witness of the changes.
Maybe these pictures give us the opportunity to take a real look at those sceneries, to see them under a new light, to note what has become of them, and to imagine what we would like them to look like or to become.