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  • martinamargaux

Notes before leaving

I am about to embark on a long journey that will stretch across three continents, over the time of a month and a half. I am curious and fearful to see how my practice develops away from “the studio” (my tiny living room), since the start of this course. Will I be able to maintain the discipline of practice? To adapt the practice to my surroundings? To let the work emerge without overcontrolling it? An if I let go, will I be able to capture the essence without getting lost?


I spent the last few hours in Paris in the darkroom, immersed in a meditating dance of light and darkness, taking in each movement, each print, each thought, each emotion. I tried to record every sensation and take notes on the things, the images, the materials I could collect on my journey to bring back here, in my newly found sanctuary, where I could transform it like a modern alchemist.


I am split between the excitement of travel and the desire to stay put and keep printing, experimenting, learning.

For the first time I don’t really feel like leaving for so long. At the same time, I know it’s going to be an amazing enriching experience.


For personal and professional reasons, I will be visiting Marrakech, Dubai, AlUla, Milan, Venice, London and the North Italian countryside. Aware of the luck I have, I feel the responsibility to make something valuable out of it.

Travel is part of my life, it's not just a geographical but an existential condition. As I checked in to my first flight I was faced with the airline’s question – travelling for work or leisure? – I wonder: How does one travel for art? 


Note to self (mentally taken during the last hours in the darkroom): collect and make material. Gather pictures, videos, writing, matter. Now is the time for instinctive capturing, for indiscriminate collecting. There will be time later in the process to look at it deeper, to let the material develop the artistic thought rather than drive it, and to eventually transform it into a project or an artwork.

Give myself an objective: Look for Maya. Maya is everywhere, she manifests in uncanny details of familiar sights. Maya is timeless, she has, is, and always be there, but we can only see it for an instant. Maya is portals to other realities inside us.  

I give myself the daring task to capture that instant. An artist’s skill is also to stay open to what happens around them, keep eyes, ears and heart open. Without judgement, without expectation. Maybe by meeting these physical and spiritual conditions,  I will encounter Maya on my path.

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