Citadels in the vines

Citadels in the Vines, was a project I worked on at the IEFC during a course dubbed ‘The City: A possible Portrait?’ the objective of which was to investigate the urban space on the conceptual basis of contemporary artistic photography and for students to carry out a personal project with the city as the protagonist. This was with teacher and architect, Josep Maria de Llobet. My original intent had been to work on a project about green architecture in Barcelona, but Covid put paid to that. I was in lockdown in rural France so had to work with what I had. For some years, I had seen small estates being built around many of the Corbieres villages and that many of the houses in these estates seemed to be designed as mini-fortresses, with high walls around them. I interviewed a few people living in houses of this type finding that many of them had come from industrial cities elsewhere in France, including the Paris suburbs, and now in retirement wanted to live out their remaining years in peace. They didn’t want to interfere in anyone else’s life and they didn’t want anyone else interfering in theirs. The high walls and big gates around their properties created not a prison, but an inner world for them where they felt free to be as they wanted to be. I visited a number of villages to make photographs of a variety of these houses which I dubbed citadels in the vineyards. Three of these photographs were included an exhibition at the FineArt Photography Festival of Igualada in 2021.

Photography completed between May and August 2020 in Lezignan, Fabrezan, Camplong, Jonquieres and Talairan in the department of the Aude.