It’s Only Natural: Ysabel LeMay’s Constructed Worlds
Ysabel LeMay’s digital compositions are brilliantly wild depictions of places that seem almost real. However, she painstakingly constructs them piece-by-piece from photographs she takes around the world.
LeMay’s interest in the natural world began with family visits to a cabin in the Quebec woods. “I was born in a community where art was nonexistent, so the closest thing in my childhood was nature,” she says. “Because nature and consciousness are very artistic, I could sort of express it that way.”
Early on, LeMay worked in advertising as a graphic designer and art director, always on the conceptual side rather than the technical. She left advertising for a more hands-on creative experience and painted intensely. It strengthened her visual language but eventually wore her out. In 2010, a friend lent her a camera. At the time, LeMay didn’t have technical photo experience, but after seeing what she produced in a month, her friend told LeMay to keep the camera. That was the beginning of her photographic oeuvre.