Meditative Beach in Northern France

In the series Plage Isolée (French for Isolated Beach) by Raul Guillermo, he captures and documents isolated beaches in northern France that reflect loneliness and where time has slowed down. The series seems to be split into three parts. Plage Isolée, Plage Isolée – Closed Windows, and Plage Isolée – I’m Here. The photographs present isolated beaches, houses near the beaches and some traces of life around the beaches.

These common landscapes are composed with thought and care, allowing the viewer to see details of the ordinary that they might normally miss. These isolated places seem to welcome the viewer, allowing them a place for meditation and solitude, and to wander alone.

What made you start this series, and what does this series mean to you?

“I started this series officially in 2016. For what I know, I’ve always been attracted to the beauty of the ocean. I love the feeling of being there and feel its energy. The thing is that last year during winter I decided to make short trips to explore France. I didn’t plan to go to those locations at first.

I think it was just my instinct telling me to go by sea. I started shooting and then discovered a pattern that I didn’t pay attention before in my photography. After I couldn’t stop, it became like an addiction to plan trips to the sea every time I could. I decided to keep going to other coastal locations. That’s how the series started.”

The series is in three parts, can you explain your intentions and for the future are you wanting to continue with the series?

“Yes, the intention here is to aggregate the pictures so the viewer can understand that every group is different, but they are part of the same universe or something like this. Also, I have a deep love feeling for architecture, so I couldn’t pass the fact that the structures near the beach are really peculiar. But in this case, I felt more attracted because in winter you can see the structure with the windows closed or with one window open, so you start asking yourself: who can live like this? That’s why I also need people or traces of them in the series.

I’m also documenting their lives if you can say so.  In the future, yes I will love to continue with series, especially that winter is coming and now I’m being more careful with the weather and how this affects the light of the picture. The seaside is where I feel comfortable and is my escape from the daily routines. Once I heard, any day near the ocean is never a bad day.”

In “Plage Isolee – I’m Here”, it’s a collection of the backs of people on the beach, can you explain what compelled you to take these?

“For me, the back of a person can tell us a different story than seeing the front. In this case, I prefer it like this because is the landscape that is giving us the feeling of introspection or infinite. With the back of a person, you can start imagining a story about their lives or why they are there in that particular spot at that time.

Also, I love the fact that the scene seems more magnificent once you have the shape of a human body in there. You can see how vast is the horizon and it gives you a feeling of never-ending scope.”

Written by Yung Tsai. Photos © Raul Guillermo.
Follow Raul Guillermo on his Instagram account. Visit his website for more work and info.

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