Like many photographers before me, I have found myself, whether consciously or subconsciously, heavily influenced by and indebted to the work of the great American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967).
This photograph of a woman sitting on her own in a café in Brittany, represents in a certain way many of the themes that were recurrent in his paintings. Isolated figures set within the graphic boundaries of carefully composed interiors; dramatic cinematic-type lighting and rich use of colour. His work has that classic ability to appear both highly realistic and at the same time abstract. There is a tension between the depiction of a seemingly everyday, mundane situation and the desire to communicate an emotion that is deeper and more philosophical.
What also makes his paintings so photographic, and which I feel has a parallel in a lot of my personal work , is their voyeuristic character. I do not have any emotional attachment to the person photographed in this scene, but find myself hypnotically drawn into their world. There is a certain intimacy, and yet at the same time a feeling of detachment.
This image, in the spirit of Hopper’s paintings, has a still, geometric quality, which aims, within the split-second of a shutter click, to create an atmosphere of timelessness.