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We are delighted to announce that our new Friends gift is here. We asked photographer Shane Lynam to create something for us and he has delivered. Using an image from his most recent project ’50 Seasons High, Shane has created a limited edition run of posters exclusively for the IAF Friends programme.
Here’s how Shane described the basis for his work:
In 1963 President de Gaulle initiated a regional development plan know as ‘Mission Racine, to develop a wild and windy stretch of French coastline between Montpellier and Perpignan into a series of resorts. Avant-garde architects were hired to construct unique and unusual spaces which would be responsive to the local environment and focused on the individual. Although the project provided a new source of income locally, Mission Racine was not only about enriching the region. It included an 18% quota of social housing to allow more French
citizens to take advantage of their time off work. It would become an alternative to the expensive Cote d’Azur without the high rise excesses of similar developments further south in Spain. Fifty High Seasons reflects on the cumulative effect of half a century of tourism on the innovative built environment established by Mission Racine, while showing why I fell for its unique charm.
This image was shot in the coastal town of La Grande Motte, south of Montpellier in 2017 on a medium format film camera. La Grande Motte is one of the better know towns of Mission Racine. The architect of the project, Jean Balladur, drew inspiration from pre-Columbian pyramids such as Teotihuacan, Mexico; and from modernist architecture in Brazil. The architecture there is particularly striking and unusual; it is also much larger than any of the other developments. I visited the area twice and struggled to photograph it, preferring the smaller scale less polished towns. Logistically it was difficult to find enough space to photograph the tall buildings. The images didn’t seem to sit right with the rest of the edit. This is one of the images that worked. I took this shot twice, firstly without people in it and with shaded light and I came back around on the way home to have another go. I like the idea of people in their swimwear in urban environments. It was something I had focussed on at the beginning of the work and a few images have remained.