Having gained a masters degree in the history of art Celine Micout came to Guernsey to work at Hauteville House. Simply known as 'the House' by all inhabitants of is historic 'Hauteville' address which was home to the exiled French writer Victor Hugo for fourteen years. Celine had originally planned to stay in Guernsey for six months. Today, nine years after Celine first set foot on the island she is mounting her first exhibition of photographs that she took of the house between 2002 and 2005 while engaged on her own doctorate research paper based on the library of Victor Hugo.
In a recent interview Celine talks about her fascination with Guernsey and her obsession with 'the house'.
'When I first arrived in Guernsey, I was totally filled with wonder by the sea and the coastline. I first used to live in a house in the upper part of St Peter Port. My windows were just facing Castle Cornet, and everyday I would take photographs of the surrounding area. I have draws and draws full of photographs showing this beautiful peninsula more or less emerging from the sea, more or less emerging from the mist, or in the sun, or covered by an early evening light; and always in the background, there are those two turtles, Herm and Jethou, that never move, except when they disappear.
I have always taken a camera with me everywhere. When walking on the cliff paths, I would generally take with me three rolls of films, and on the way back, I would say to myself: 'Next time I will take more films with me'! Nowadays, I use a digital camera - we all do.
So why photograph Hauteville House? Because the subject deserves it would I suppose would be my honest answer. For me it truly is a wonderful house, unique and personalised with Hugo's hallmarks of mixed furniture, tapestries, Delft tiles, fabrics, pieces of china, which all deserve a collector's interest. And of course also there is the light (and darkness) very much a reflection of Hugo's complex character - but most of all it is a place where things happened I think you still sense that inherent creative energy - for me it's still there".
As part of the International Artist in Residence Programme I am very pleased that we have been able to orgainse this exhibition and would like to take this opportunity to thank Celine and all involved in helping make this project possible.