Photographer-turned-writer Amélie Lucas-Gary is the Randell Cottage’s French writer in residence for 2018. Born in 1982, in Arcachon in France’s South West, she studied at the Sorbonne, graduating with degrees win cinema and history, and photography at the National School of Photography in Arles.
With two novels published so far, most of her work is now literary. The first, Grotte (Cave), published in 2014, is narrated by the guardian of the Lascaux caves. Isolated on the top of a small hill, between the cave and its replica, the narrator spins a story in which reality and fantasy meld and intertwine.
2017 saw the release of Vierge (Virgin), which tells the journey of Emmanuelle who has become pregnant without ever having had sex. She travels across an imaginary France creating disorder and mass hysteria along the way.
Lucas-Gary creates contemporary myths with a poetic and metaphoric language, playing with time and space and inviting her readers to distance themselves from the present and reality.
She is regularly commissioned by visual artists to write poetic texts to accompany their work and will be working on one such project while in Wellington. Her priority though, is a novel, Hic (Here), which she describes as an archaeological work set in the Randell Cottage and travelling back through time, into the Cottage’s imagined past. Five stories will be connected by fragments the narrator finds on the Cottage’s site: a shard of willow patterned china, a fossil, a bone, a jade pendant…