Lumière - Guiding Lights of Paris
Having been a commercial photographer for over thirty five years, in three different countries, the opportunity to relocate to Paris, France, opened up a whole new genre of photography for Des Harris. Des found relevance in both origins of the city’s label “La Ville Lumière", the city of light. Both enlightenment, by turning his technical craft toward more artistic applications after being constantly surrounded and inspired by visual imagery, and in finding illumination throughout the city at all hours of the night. Photography requires light to define shape, and form and sometimes in the case of his first ever exhibition “Lumière - The Guiding Lights of Paris”, the light also becomes the subject.
“My wife, son, and I often took advantage of the Paris nightlife, staying out until the early hours, apero, cocktails, wining and dining, live music. This is what Paris was all about for us.” After socialising, at night they would then find themselves on the last metro home, or walking, taxiing. “En route home, there were landmarks, always lit up, that guided us along the way. The rest of the scene would change, the cars would be different, the people would be different, the shop windows would be different, but there was consistency in lit objects, or the lights themselves. Though somewhat nebulous, they would register in your slightly groggy head, reinforcing that you were on track. Guiding lights.” It sounds like an experience we have all had at one stage or another!
The images in this collection are Des’ interpretation of that period, those journeys. The surrounding area and paths home. The shop next door, the hotel around the corner, the night club neons. The images are purposely grainy, blurry, wavy, reflecting his memories of the times.