This article is printed in the latest issue of British Journal of Photography magazine: Ones to Watch, available to buy at thebjpshop.com.
Collectively, the images question the idea and experience of “islandness”, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in Amorgos’ atmosphere
Clément Chapillon had been visiting the picturesque Greek island of Amorgos, the easternmost island in the Cyclades archipelago, for 20 years. Amorgos’ dramatic terrain, both arid and scenic at once, compelled him. However, the isolation engendered by the wild landscape and geographical remoteness of Amorgos ultimately intrigued the artist.
Receiving support from the artist residency Fondation des Treilles in 2019, he set out to photograph his experience of the enclave and the emotions it provoked in him. Employing a medium format analogue camera, Chapillon travelled to the island on five separate occasions over two years, immersing himself in the solitude of his surroundings.
The American novelist Henry Miller reflected that “spiritual apparitions” punctuated his journey to Greece – a sentiment that resonated with Chapillon. His quiet images, drenched in the golden Greek sun, confer a sense of otherworldliness. However, an eerie silence and lethargy also pervade them.
Collectively, the images question the idea and experience of “islandness”, as the photographer describes it, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in Amorgos’ atmosphere as Chapillon found it.