whole life has been marked by many wanderings and adventures,
passionate pursuits and sudden changes of direction, from
one country to another, from the present to the distant
past, from image-making to literature, and from the here
and now to the world of the imagination.
was born in Hong Kong in the ‘60s, but my first real
home was my mother’s stained glass workshop in Paris,
where I grew up surrounded by half-assembled windows, strips
of lead and the black diamonds used to cut the glass. This
made for a rather unusual childhood, but one full of light
the age of 19 I became a photographer and then a photo-journalist.
My reporting assignments and background research took me
to many countries (Italy, Scandinavia, Japan, the United
States…), led me to explore many different worlds
(docks, casinos, aerodromes, funfairs) and brought me into
contact with people in every walk of life (artists, philosophers,
scientists, archaeologists, astronauts, mariners, polar
explorers, computer hackers…). At this time, I wrote
a great deal of poetry and filled notebook after notebook
with ideas and tentative sketches for novels.
1991, I took part in the exhibition at the Foundation Cartier
in Paris on the theme of speed, which has always been one
of my favourite subjects in photography, especially speed
as experienced at night. My photos are really journeys into
other dimensions of experience. There are not many portraits
among them, but rather, glimpses of places which only come
to life at night, secret and forbidden places (deserted
factories, industrial wastelands, twilight zones), together
with extended studies of the elements of fire and water.
this time, I flew a great deal – in planes, hot air
balloons, gliders, whatever enabled me to experience the
astonishing spectacle of the earth as seen from above. I
dreamt of space travel, and spent much of my time on runways
and landing-grounds. My most memorable flight was in a Fieseler-Storch,
a reconnaissance aircraft from the Second World War.
even though I still felt passionately about images, they
no longer satisfied me. I decided to give up photography,
and devote myself to writing full-time. I sold my Linhoff,
my Nikon and my Hasselblad, and kept only my first camera,
a battered old Leica M2.
fascination with the Middle Ages prompted me to draw up
a list of all the principal historic sites of twelfth-century
France and Italy, which I then visited and spent much time
sketching, photographing and drawing inspiration from. By
the end of my travels, I had absorbed not only the history
of these places but also their distinctive atmosphere and
the deep impressions which they had made on me. I filled
up yet more notebooks with my thoughts and impressions,
sketches and first drafts of stories.
published my first novels in 1997, and began work on a series
of historical crime mysteries featuring the Breton knight-errant
Galeran de Lesneven, some of which have been published in
English (by Orion Publishing) and Italian (by Tea Libri).
I have continued to explore the world of the twelfth century
in the saga of Tancred the Norman, but have also increasingly
been drawn into the phantasmagoria of modern life in several
works of science fiction and in a series of novels set in
time to time I go sailing, closely observing the sea and
the sky, and recently, I took out my old Leica in order
to journey to the far north, to Spitzbergen. It was one
of my most cherished childhood dreams come true, to visit
a land of perpetual snow and ice - an experience hard to
come back from.
I write more and more, though I will never have enough time
to get down on paper everything which comes into my mind.
Eventually, after many years of wandering, I have come to
rest not far from Saint-Malo. As I work, I can see only
the open sky from my window and hear the waves.
: © François Goudier / Mélanie Morand
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