An interesting evening with French photographer, Cédric Pollet, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Steinhardt Gallery in New York.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and with that said, Cédric Pollet, engineer/landscaper/botanist and photographer, sees beauty in trees, or to be more precise, he sees beauty in the bark of the trees.
On June 14, 2006, Bernard Morel, Executive Director of the Nice Convention & Visitors Bureau, together with Marion Fourestier, Director of Communications of the Maison de la France/French Government Tourist Office, welcomed invited guests to an evening reception of an original exhibition of Mr. Cédric Pollet's work entitled, "An Intimate View of Bark," in promotion of "Nice, an exceptional flora," at the extremely appropriate setting of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Where better to take a closer look at the art of trees, than at a botanic garden? The exhibition ran from June 3rd through July 16, 2006.
Mr. Pollet, a native of Nice, used a 35mm camera with a macro lens and natural light, and focused his photographic exploration for this exhibition on the bark of the many varied species of trees and succulents from around the world that are found in the Côte d'Azur of France. His photographs capture the exotic botanic grace and style of the French Riviera. Mr. Pollet is definitely an authority on photographing tree bark (conifers, deciduous trees, giant herbs, and tree-like succulent plants), as he has taken over 4,500 photographs of tree bark from 300 different species, and he has traveled extensively throughout the world exploring the beauty of the bark of trees. He has selected an unusual subject matter for his photographic endeavors to be sure, and quite frankly when I was invited to attend this reception, I wondered just how interesting an exhibition on tree bark could be, but the exhibition was captivating and provocative, and his photographs had a contemporary painting quality to them. Mr. Pollet's camera captured the individual nuances of the types of bark on the diverse trees, where he centered his attention on the intrinsic array of colors, the diverse textures, the remarkable patterns and the fascinating shapes of the bark. Alongside each of the enlarged macro photographs of the bark there was a small photograph of the actual tree to provide the viewer with insight into each of the trees, and to Cédric Pollet's vision.
If you enjoy looking at clouds and imaging what the shapes of the clouds remind you of, you would definitely appreciate the fine distinction of Mr. Pollet's work. I was especially fond of his photograph of the bark of the Populus alba (white poplar), where the pattern of the bark resembled lips that covered the surface of the bark, as well as the interesting rhythm, pattern of variegated color, and continuous movement in the photograph of the bark of Olea europaea (olive tree), and I also liked his photograph of the Leaf of Agave americana (century plant) where "crocodiles" emerged from a "sea" of deep olive green. Okay, so my imagination wandered, but isn't that the entire point of contemporary art, to inspire and draw upon the imagination of the viewer? Cédric Pollet's photography succinctly inspired my imagination.
For information on Cédric Pollet, please visit his website at www.artsylva.com.
Telephone: +33 0 6 22 22 00 82
For information on Nice, please visit the Nice Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.nicetourisme.biz, or by email:
. For more information on France, please visit the Maison de la France/French Government Tourist Office website at www.franceguide.com.
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