Land of Nothingness


"When you take a picture in a beautiful place, you have to realize that nature isn't the background for your photograph," says Maroesjka Lavigne. "Rather, you are its prop. The only thing added to the scene, after all, is you."


Photographer Maroesjka Lavigne is this year's Sony World Photography Awards Professional Landscape winner with her series 'Land of Nothingness'. The project invites viewers to step into the unforgiving landscape of Namibia – a country of deserts with barren stretches that yield only to subtle variations of the same aridness. From this desolation, Lavigne composes a visual symphony, where animals and the very landscape in which she finds herself appear to respond to her camera lens.

Nothing, upon nothing, upon nothing until all of a sudden… something. A rare sight capturing the country’s subtle scenery in the form of gas station or herd of animals. But look fast or you might just miss it.

Q: What was it that drew you to Namibia for your work Land of Nothingness?

Maroesjka: I wanted to travel to a place where nature was still in charge. Following my journey to Iceland a few years ago, I started to miss this feeling of travelling through such a dominant landscape. Namibia is a place where you see more animals than humans and I think that’s great to experience.

Q: Your images illuminate a sense of calm and tranquillity. Does this translate the sentiments you felt as an artist working in south west Africa?

Maroesjka: I think that’s definitely a result of nature still having the upper-hand here. Life goes at a much more natural pace. The distances we had to travel were so long you got into some sort of very slow state of mind. Not hurried, and with no stress. There was nowhere to rush to. The travel itself was the experience.

(All photos by Maroesjka Lavigne.)

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