Maroesjka Lavigne in Interview Magazine

Maroesjka Lavigne, Once on this Island

"When you take a picture in a beautiful place, you have to realize that nature isn't the background for your photograph," says 24-year-old Belgian photographer Maroesjka Lavigne. "Rather, you are its prop. The only thing added to the scene, after all, is you."

During a four-month excursion to Iceland that began with an internship at The Reykjavik Grapevine, Lavigne became enamored of the country's stark scenery and how its people dealt with the challenges of going about daily life in an environment reigned by vast, inescapable nature. Steering away from typical depictions of Iceland's great mountainscapes and volcanoes, her work seeks instead to deconstruct the auras of intimidation surrounding these overwhelming forms, uncovering what makes Iceland a home to those who live there. The photographs carry a sense of familiarity and nostalgia for Reykjavik and its nearby towns that is marked by an uncanny awareness of our limited time on earth, through side-by-side portrayals of human life and the more lasting, terrestrial features. For Lavigne, nature is unconquerable, and everywhere: a small figure peers contemplatively over a bridge, allowing the falling snow to envelop his image in white, while a suburban street sleeps trustingly beneath an ominous, rust-colored sky. In "Ísland," her first solo show opening at Robert Mann Gallery this Thursday, April 3, Lavigne presents the rare findings of her travels in "moments when color, light and subject merge into the perfect image."

Read the full interview here.