Formed for millennia by the removal of a glacier, the Val d'Hérens is a valley located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland extending from the south of Sion to the glaciers of Ferpècle and Arolla. This region includes an important fauna, flora, geology and mineralogy forming a natural, valuable and fragile environment. Coming from a peasant family from Corcelles-près-Concise in the Jura-Nord vaudois district, Pauline Humbert developed from an early age a sensitivity to nature and its multiple stakes. Very early, the artist discovers the Val d'Hérens and enjoys its unique landscapes that will contribute to developing a great artistic sensitivity towards nature. As a result, the photographer cultivates through her experiences a close link with her natural environment from which she captures its poetic essence.
On the basis of a word in local dialect designating Hérens, “èrèïn” is an exhibition depicting the lyrical nature of a region of Switzerland. It is through a contemplative, pure and poetic image that Pauline Humbert connects herself and connects us with this particular environment. Taking a different path from postcard photography, the artist focuses on the most essential elements of the landscape. Water, wood, leaves, textures, angles, lights, so many factors constituting the perceptible world that the photographer transcribes through a personal look. The image is sometimes reduced to its most primitive forms tending towards abstraction. “èrèïn” offers the viewer an alternative reading of the beauty of a valley, perhaps a little too often limited to its grandiose character. These images result from an important work of nature observation and travel and they are always imbued with poetry and sensitivity. This approach echoes works by artists such as Rinko Kawauchi or Hiroshi Sugimoto. Observing nature is to look at the silence and to feel good in the present moment. The images invite the viewer to contemplate a beauty that is both simple and complex. In this way, a meditative dimension emerges. Finally, “èrèïn” starts from a local point of view to grow and evolve on a global dimension. Although all produced in the Val d'Hérens, these images are animated by a powerful universality allowing them to exist beyond their area of production. A universality manifested in the minimal and contemplative form of the image, but also in its poetic and ecological meaning.
Pauline Humbert is a young Swiss photographer born in 1996 in Saint-Aubin and currently living in Lausanne. In 2018 she graduated from the Centre d'enseignement professionnel de Vevey (CEPV) in Photography. Pauline Humbert is currently studying an advanced course in Visual Communication specialised in Photography.