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Victoire Meneur

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It is important for me to start explaining my journey from the very beginning. I was lucky to be raised by creative minds, surrounded by my four brothers and sisters coming, going, playing, singing, and living around me. Not a natural at school and disillusioned about forced homework, I preferred the environment of my parents’ shops and enjoyed the pleasure of collecting items for my cherished doll house. Fr

om this introduction, it is easy to understand that family is important to me, and I think my work represents the importance I give to my roots.

From both Russian descent and the enchanting Plateau de l’Aubrac in central France, I am as attracted to the solidity of granite as I am to nostalgia and the poetry of sweet nothings. Introvert by nature, I started dreaming about a world of my own at a young age and quickly positioned myself as an observer of the outside world, which my schoolteachers didn’t approve of. My great ability to flutter around from a lesson to the bird chirping outside the window was reflected in my grades and it quickly got me kicked out of school at thirteen. This outsider position was, however, a blessing in disguise as it helped me take my first steps in the arts. I discovered the joys of art in all its forms, surrounded by people with similar interests. I eventually decided to specialise my studies in visual communication.

Through multiple explorations and wanders, I came upon set design, gathering my passion for decors and storytelling, moods and environments. Film and theatre seemed to be an area that could respond perfectly to my creativity and my love for objects and atmospheres. However, at this exact moment in my studies, my now-husband offered me my first camera. Little did he know that dabbling with this mysterious tool would encourage my chosen path.

I started taking pictures of the people I loved. I realised the power was in my hands to show who they really were, leaving aside their poses, erasing the superficial to show their true, best selves.

There came a moment where I needed to take the big jump. I had finished my time in university and had to show my skills to the outside world. I believe it is a difficult moment for all, and it certainly was challenging for me, this fleeting moment in between childhood and adulthood, starting a professional career. I understood—thanks to the many communication tutors that taught me the basis of my craft—the fields that were promising a prosperous career: fashion and advertising.

I followed the path I was advised to take and started assisting and creating mood boards for luxury hotels led by a famous personality in fashion, sourcing objects, ideas, colours, arranging them together and creating harmony. This collaboration went on for a guidebook, which enabled me to continue with my newfound love, photography.

I was asked to take pictures of places for this book, which was a real opportunity as it got broadly published and translated. It also made me want to forgo my own projects and motivated me to share them with as many people as I could in my own, small way.

I started posting my photographs, my art, on Pinterest. This self-publishing got some growing interest and I got contacted by good-intentioned people who pushed me to create an exhibition. I didn’t consider myself an Art Photographer back then as I wasn’t self-confident enough at the time. After all, Pinterest was a good way to keep a distance from a crowd whilst sharing my creations with countless people.

I was going through a difficult personal time, so I took a leap of faith and welcomed the idea as some sort of therapy. I loved the idea of transforming my images into objects, and it was also the first time I could watch how people reacted to my work. This defining moment in my practice as a photographer helped me understand the importance of sharing your visions, as it will sometimes, and in a way that cannot be explained, bring you the immense satisfaction of touching someone.

My professional path then led me to an interiors project for an acclaimed French “It” company, creating sets for their showroom. It got me working with an illustrator I loved, and I quickly realized I was more interested in telling her story than working for the company. My recently found stubbornness for independence outstretched. I decided my new project should be focused on people who create and bring them the well-needed boost any artist secretly needs—to use my camera as a weapon to celebrate the creatives in the making.

It is a good way to start explaining this latest phase. The moment we are living now has allowed me to retrieve much-loved introspective time, finding a way to live to the sound of my own waves. I have been spending time focusing on what inspires me, what I find enriching within my grasp, in my home, which has become—as of late—the canvas of my current productions.

I have moved to the countryside, in the region of Le Perche, in a home that my partner and I fell in love with and became the scenery of much transfiguration and dreams. This move to the country came with the need to find a bigger space to create and broaden our spirits and lives through closeness to nature. We have moved to this beautiful 17th century farm in the middle of surrounding woods and found ourselves having to rebuild its bones with our hands.

Needless to say, it has been an audacious enterprise in more ways than one, but the satisfaction of waking up next to roe deers and their little ones having a stroll in our back garden has brought us intense happiness.

I finally found time to gather my thoughts and use my new atelier space to try things out. I use this lushness to feed my research and upcoming project involving inspirational people and their craft. The preparation for my upcoming shoots involves mood boards, ideas and colour schemes that will most likely be used in the final images.

In the meantime, these blossoming projects are awaiting the reopening of the world, when adventures will be allowed to be lived. I have had a marvelous time preparing for the future, and I can’t wait to put my latest endeavor back to the forefront. The world situation has put Art and its workers in a backseat during these challenging times, and I very much mean to change that in my own way.

People ask, ‘What camera do you use?’ I say, ‘You don’t ask a writer what typewriter he uses.’ – Man Ray

This time also made me realise how immortalising my contemplations help me with being in the present moment, like a liberating meditation. Now more than ever, Art brings the mindful fresh breath needed to light up the sparkle that soothes the spirits. More than ever, it needs to be shared.

No matter what the world has claimed, Art is necessary, and I mean to show it.

It is important for me to start explaining my journey from the very beginning. I was lucky to be raised by creative minds, surrounded by my four brothers and sisters coming, going, playing, singing, and living around me. Not a natural at school and disillusioned about forced homework, I preferred the environment of my parents’ shops and enjoyed the pleasure of collecting items for my cherished doll house. Fr

om this introduction, it is easy to understand that family is important to me, and I think my work represents the importance I give to my roots.

From both Russian descent and the enchanting Plateau de l’Aubrac in central France, I am as attracted to the solidity of granite as I am to nostalgia and the poetry of sweet nothings. Introvert by nature, I started dreaming about a world of my own at a young age and quickly positioned myself as an observer of the outside world, which my schoolteachers didn’t approve of. My great ability to flutter around from a lesson to the bird chirping outside the window was reflected in my grades and it quickly got me kicked out of school at thirteen. This outsider position was, however, a blessing in disguise as it helped me take my first steps in the arts. I discovered the joys of art in all its forms, surrounded by people with similar interests. I eventually decided to specialise my studies in visual communication.

Through multiple explorations and wanders, I came upon set design, gathering my passion for decors and storytelling, moods and environments. Film and theatre seemed to be an area that could respond perfectly to my creativity and my love for objects and atmospheres. However, at this exact moment in my studies, my now-husband offered me my first camera. Little did he know that dabbling with this mysterious tool would encourage my chosen path.

I started taking pictures of the people I loved. I realised the power was in my hands to show who they really were, leaving aside their poses, erasing the superficial to show their true, best selves.

There came a moment where I needed to take the big jump. I had finished my time in university and had to show my skills to the outside world. I believe it is a difficult moment for all, and it certainly was challenging for me, this fleeting moment in between childhood and adulthood, starting a professional career. I understood—thanks to the many communication tutors that taught me the basis of my craft—the fields that were promising a prosperous career: fashion and advertising.

I followed the path I was advised to take and started assisting and creating mood boards for luxury hotels led by a famous personality in fashion, sourcing objects, ideas, colours, arranging them together and creating harmony. This collaboration went on for a guidebook, which enabled me to continue with my newfound love, photography.

I was asked to take pictures of places for this book, which was a real opportunity as it got broadly published and translated. It also made me want to forgo my own projects and motivated me to share them with as many people as I could in my own, small way.

I started posting my photographs, my art, on Pinterest. This self-publishing got some growing interest and I got contacted by good-intentioned people who pushed me to create an exhibition. I didn’t consider myself an Art Photographer back then as I wasn’t self-confident enough at the time. After all, Pinterest was a good way to keep a distance from a crowd whilst sharing my creations with countless people.

I was going through a difficult personal time, so I took a leap of faith and welcomed the idea as some sort of therapy. I loved the idea of transforming my images into objects, and it was also the first time I could watch how people reacted to my work. This defining moment in my practice as a photographer helped me understand the importance of sharing your visions, as it will sometimes, and in a way that cannot be explained, bring you the immense satisfaction of touching someone.

My professional path then led me to an interiors project for an acclaimed French “It” company, creating sets for their showroom. It got me working with an illustrator I loved, and I quickly realized I was more interested in telling her story than working for the company. My recently found stubbornness for independence outstretched. I decided my new project should be focused on people who create and bring them the well-needed boost any artist secretly needs—to use my camera as a weapon to celebrate the creatives in the making.

It is a good way to start explaining this latest phase. The moment we are living now has allowed me to retrieve much-loved introspective time, finding a way to live to the sound of my own waves. I have been spending time focusing on what inspires me, what I find enriching within my grasp, in my home, which has become—as of late—the canvas of my current productions.

I have moved to the countryside, in the region of Le Perche, in a home that my partner and I fell in love with and became the scenery of much transfiguration and dreams. This move to the country came with the need to find a bigger space to create and broaden our spirits and lives through closeness to nature. We have moved to this beautiful 17th century farm in the middle of surrounding woods and found ourselves having to rebuild its bones with our hands.

Needless to say, it has been an audacious enterprise in more ways than one, but the satisfaction of waking up next to roe deers and their little ones having a stroll in our back garden has brought us intense happiness.

I finally found time to gather my thoughts and use my new atelier space to try things out. I use this lushness to feed my research and upcoming project involving inspirational people and their craft. The preparation for my upcoming shoots involves mood boards, ideas and colour schemes that will most likely be used in the final images.

In the meantime, these blossoming projects are awaiting the reopening of the world, when adventures will be allowed to be lived. I have had a marvelous time preparing for the future, and I can’t wait to put my latest endeavor back to the forefront. The world situation has put Art and its workers in a backseat during these challenging times, and I very much mean to change that in my own way.

People ask, ‘What camera do you use?’ I say, ‘You don’t ask a writer what typewriter he uses.’ – Man Ray

This time also made me realise how immortalising my contemplations help me with being in the present moment, like a liberating meditation. Now more than ever, Art brings the mindful fresh breath needed to light up the sparkle that soothes the spirits. More than ever, it needs to be shared.

No matter what the world has claimed, Art is necessary, and I mean to show it.