Sandrine Hermand-Grisel - Somewhere in Yosemite California - ultrashop

More about Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

How did you choose your means of expression?

I don’t know if I would say that I chose photography, I would probably say that photography chose me. As a little girl I played with plastic cameras in which I stared at the succession of photos that resembled postcards; I later salvaged my father’s old camera that I still have. Taking pictures was a natural choice.

What material do you use and why?

I worked with a Leica M for a long time and even if I go back to it from time to time as I’m still fascinated by the beauty of film-based prints, I now work on a daily basis with a Nikon D4 and a 50mm F/1.4 lens mainly. Digital provides the convenience of immediacy and flexibility, as well as being much less expensive.

Can you describe to me what is different about when you started out and your current work?

As my work is very personal I suppose that my projects gain in maturity over time, not only from a technical point of view as I learn something every day but also in my artistic process. Being a member of the jury for competitions and curator of the magazine All About Photo also enables me to develop and cultivate my eye.


Do your origins and culture play a role in the work that you produce?

My French origins certainly play a part in how I see the world around me and in particular the United States where I have now lived for almost 12 years. As I explain in the introduction to my series ‘Somewhere’, as an expatriate I neither feel totally like a tourist, nor foreign, nor at home… This very personal perception is reflected in my work and more specifically in my series of American landscapes. As for my more intimate projects, whether photographs of my children (White Water Lilies) or those close to me (Nocturnal), they are greatly influenced by painting and sculpture, a vibrant source of my arts education.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I draw my inspiration from experience, people I love and sometimes from my dreams. These are sudden or more considered desires, images that obsess me that I need to share.

Do you take the news into account when you work or do you detach yourself from it?

My work doesn’t take the news into account. If anything the opposite, I try to avoid it as such. I escape through my work to a world of dreams, gentleness and beauty to elude the reality that wears me down. I have a vital need to take flight, to avoid it…


 Is art poetry or social intervention?

In my opinion art is a combination of the two. It all depends on the artist, their aim and any conflicts or circumstances that led them to create their work of art. Regarding my work, it’s only poetry but it’s a choice.


What projects do you have in progress or forthcoming?

I’m certainly not lacking in ideas. There are many projects in progress, but until they’re actually defined, I’ll keep them to myself.

Translated by
Louise Jablonowska