When we start thinking about photographers, we automatically imagine a fresh faced, young college grad with a gigantic camera and no sense of social boundaries. However, not all modern photographers are a bunch of style hipsters, let’s take Mr Antoine Bruy for example. He grew up in the quaint town of Tourcoing, France and started off the same way as most photographers do; completely anonymously. Indeed, photography never really worked with him instinctually. It was only when he abandoned society itself that the medium truly allowed for him to reach a recognisable artistic standard.
His photographic success began when he started travelling all around the world. He was hooked on the travel bug from a very young age. He started going to places like Brazil and Australia, taking photographs and slowly building up an age long portfolio. However, when he was wandering around Australia, he came across the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Project. This allowed him to travel around Europe, working on farms for food and shelter. This way, he ended up living entirely off the grid. It was as if he had just disappeared from society itself. During this period of his life he began to become fascinated by his fellow off gridder’s relationships with nature, and how they used it to live fulfilling lives without the modern comforts we enjoy today.
It is safe to say, that when you are living off the radar, you are going to come into contact with some of the more rugged aspects of nature. He began taking photographs of tumbled down old farm houses, the grasslands and nature at its wildest. It was this collection, which he called “Scrublands” which gained him fame and notoriety, finally bringing the hermit out of obscurity and into the spotlight. He comes equipped with simple medium format cameras and he takes pictures of people who are in control of their own environments. They need not be cared for by the state and are shown to create their own high quality way of life.
Considering he lived this period of his life not reliant on modern comforts, it is no surprise that he has totally abandoned the concept of promoting your work online. Today, almost all photographers use cyber space to make themselves visible, however Mr Bruy submitted copies of his work, attended competitions and physically presented them to gallery owners. It was through this old fashioned, manual marketing, that he made himself a well-known photographic artist with exhibitions all around the world, in an incredibly short time. He is still expanding his current “Scrublands” project to this day, because there is always something new to discover in the wild. However, his work carries a message of which we should all take heed. That we must start redefining our relationship with our environment so that we live cleaner and more sustainable lives. Perhaps there is truly no place so civilised, than the wild outdoors.
Image Source: www.antoinebruy.com/