Photography As Therapy With Alexis Pichot

French photographer Alexis Pichot’s woodland series ‘Marche Celeste’ not only awakened his senses, it reinvigorated his sense of self.

Submerging himself in the depths of the forest of Fontainebleau, Pichot captures the celestial, earthy qualities of the land. He emphasizes the spiritual, mythical aspects of this special place through lighting techniques. There seems to be a supernatural power emanating from the photos which can be tangibly felt by the viewer.

The forest of Fontainebleau has unique place in French history and French collective consciousness. It has provided generations of writers, artists and photographers with inspiration and was the first protect natural space in the world. Back in 1863, it was classified as an artistic reserve after painters at the Barbizon school campaigned for it to be protected. Located just outside of Paris, the woods have been a natural haven for many cosmopolitan Parisians seeking respite from the bustle of city life for years.

Equipped with just his camera, Pichot would venture out into the night to soak up the sounds, smells and feelings of the famous woods. While photographing his surroundings, Pichot re-connected to nature, turning the series into a therapeutic project. Speaking about the calming effects of the forest he commented: “the forest is one of the strongest incarnations of nature at its origins and a place of transition as well, a means to another state, for the one who is immersed.”

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All images © Alexis Pichot

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