My name is Alice Courvoisier. I was born in France and live in England, more precisely Yorkshire, where I teach maths part-time. These pages however are about what I do outside, about my engagement with the natural world. My first blog post explains how it all started. Since 2014, I have returned to black and white film photography and delved with fascination in the ancient art of storytelling; you can visit my professional page here.
Je m’appelle Alice Courvoisier. Je suis née en France, mais j’habite en Angleterre, plus précisément dans le Yorkshire, où j’enseigne les mathématiques à mi-temps. Ces pages cependant concernent ce que je fais dehors, mon interaction avec le monde naturel. Mon premier texte explique comment tout cela a commencé. Depuis 2014, je me suis remise à faire de la photographie argentique noir & blanc, et me suis plongée dans l’art du conte ; mon site professionnel se trouve ici.
These pages are about wonder, this ability to enjoy a beautiful thing, now, in the present. Wonder is a quality I foster by spending time outside, observing. I travel, then come back home with an eye keener for details, keener for colours, eager to look and discover more nuances.
Je souhaite parler d’émerveillement, de cette capacité d’apprecier la beauté dans l’instant présent. C’est une qualité que j’entretiens en passant du temps dehors, à observer. Je voyage pour revenir avec un oeil plus exercé, capable de voir plus de détails, de couleurs, toujours à la recherche d’autres nuances.
Below is what I wrote in June 2011, a year after returning from Finnmark
Ci-dessous est un texte (en anglais) écrit en juin 2011, un an après mon retour du Finnmark
A year to the day after rounding Nordkapp I went for an evening walk on Newhaven’s waterfront. The sun shone brightly over the Firth of Forth; Edinburgh itself had been swallowed by a sombre storm cloud; ahead of me to the east a rainbow was slowly forming. The weather that night was similar to what we’d experienced in Northern Norway, with the familiar play of darkness and light, which emphasizes contrast and reveals colours anew, only the background to the clouds’ play was different. The high, snow-streaked plateaux of Finnmark had been replaced by Leith dock’s industrial landscape and the silhouette of the city’s grey buildings. I would certainly have admired such scenery before our Norwegian Odyssey, but perhaps not with the same intensity. I might not have stopped for long minutes, watching as rainbows formed and dissolved, taking in the many details of so beautiful and so alive a seascape. I believe that by spending a few months observing Nature, we have become more sensitive to its beauty, able to spot subtle nuances of colours and changes in the light, just as one learns to appreciate an art by developing a familiarity with it. I felt I now understood what French author Emmanuel Hussenet wrote following a three-month solo sea kayaking journey in Svalbard, “I have glimpsed true beauty and I will never forget her. I will watch out for her in everything, and when I see her again, in a face, in a gesture or on a sun-lit sea, I will greet her as a messenger of eternity.” (Emmanuel Hussenet, Spitzberg, Visions d’un baladin des glaces, Transboréal, 1997.)
Light plays in Finnmark / Jeux de lumière dans le Finnmark