her series, Land of Nothingness, Maroesjka Lavigne invites
viewers to step into the unforgiving landscape of Namibia as she
captures the subtle, desolate beauty of one of the least densely
populated places in the world.
Captivated by these washed-out yet delicately coloured
landscapes, the vast plains of brown, scorched earth, the golden
tones of sand dunes and the white surface of the salt pans, Lavigne
spent hours driving solo across Namibia capturing the subtle
variations of the barren yet constantly changing desert.
Chaperoned by herds of giraffes or zebras, shadowed by flocks of
flamingos, suddenly stumbling upon a family of elephants, Lavigne
recounts how the animals would look up curiously, but soon forget
about you and slowly continue their journey, unhurried by your
presence, at their own pace. There was little evidence of human
encroachment on the landscape, the sight of other people was rare
and only the strategically located gas stations acted as a reminder
of the world beyond and a link back to reality.
Patience was key to capturing Namibia’s subtle scenery and at
times the sameness of the vast, barren landscape was hard to
navigate. Time seemed to move slower for Lavigne and she would
drive for hours, “driving though nothing, to at long last arrive
at…more of nothing”. Yet Land of Nothingness uncovers the
unexpected beauty often hidden in plain sight on the scorched earth
of the Namib and reveals the carefully balanced order that comes
with life in an unrelenting desert.
A selection of photos from Land of Nothingness are on view at
Somerset House for the Sony World Photography Awards until 8