In all of her coastal shots, Charvet emphasizes the contrast between the ordered spaces of beachside leisure and the expanse of an ultimately untameable sea. There is an almost militaristic precision to the bright red lounge chairs and umbrellas arrayed in neat rows on the black sands inSpiaggia Grande in Positano, Italy (2014), for example. They appear to be in formation, ready to march into the emerald waters directly ahead. Only a few people occupy this otherwise eerily empty setting. Such an absence of beach revelers serves to emphasize the divide between the beach, shaped to be at our service, and the indifferent and wild sea.
In Amalfi Rocks (2014), the contrast between nature and culture is even starker. Here an outcropping of bleached rocks, similarly set with lounge chairs and umbrellas, may be seen in the photograph’s lower right-hand corner. The rest of the composition is filled with sun-dappled water. While the appeal of this scene is undeniable, it is touched with menace. The sea dominates. It seems to edge the dry land out of the frame, reminding us that no matter how comfortably we arrange our beachside spaces, they are always at the mercy of the sea.
Visit Clic Gallery at Market Art + Design 2015, Hamptons, Jul. 9–12, 2015.