Anne Pharel

  • Selected Works

    Sub Noctem

    Enter the unintentional beauty of the day that fades, that escapes the desire of creation.
    Surprise the hour when the mysteries of the night rise.
    Taming the shadows, give them shape while the trees approach, conversing in the newfound darkness.
    Celebrate the last light of day and accept the evidence of the short moment of uncertainty.
    These few moments are home to the rise of the invisible world, when colors, pristine and glorious, journeyed back to themselves, before everything went missing.
    The perfect time where the trees, dissolving into their environment, transiently, engulfed, offer traces of their disappearance.
    When the earth and its works are recounted—works of passing time—reality fades and is left to be absorbed by a world that is becoming a dream.

    The Sound of Night

    'I consider nothingness, it shapes the world. It is origin, there, hidden in the unfathomable which separates the shadow from the light, when the tingling of silence become visible. It is there, bordering the tiny presences, countless consciences, just particles, hemming electrons with emptiness: it is there that we must seek the breath of life; it is the universal and fertile tipping point. I want to find those minute consciences which set in motion the rustle of silence and the pigments of the night: they reveal the interstices that only nothingness can inhabit when the shafts of the day born of the brilliance of light, those tyrants of the intelligible world, are broken by the rise of darkness. Then, surrounded by the invisible, they let their contained colors swell, burst, explode. Freed from their ties, they open up a universe enriched by dreams and nuances, with a reality less dense because not smoothed, a reality with its flaws, which is written differently and gives to read a real with holes, full, untied.
    I believe that the noise of night is of the same nature as the invisible envelopes of fragments of the world."

    The engraved Trees

    "I consider these images as substitutes for this world doomed to vanish, this world that flows without the desire to inscribe its passage, this world that leaves a random imprint that I seize in flight to impose a trace on it. Reflections of the sky and trees deposited on a glass, I give them a texture so that they crystallize and continue to float between two airs, in the breath.
    This is how I sink into the reality of another atmosphere, projected into the universe of transparency that becomes appearance and is a provocation for the imagination. Mirages?"

    Interior Gardens

    "Trace that which has sunk, concoct what has disappeared. Illusions. In the collapse of a world, there is only the intangible trace of what is lost: fleeting visions of crumbling figures which, if rusted, give way to gold in their absence. Ruins, forgotten columns, lost gardens... this is the internal archeology of time; that of a memory with gaps, which cracks when indiscernible images expose the workings of time. These are images of duration, because in not indicating an "it was" but a "that is," they give the past a texture that lets it creep into, develop, and invade the present.

    Intermittent arrivals at the surface of the world, these visions rob reality by means of evaporation and proceed to erect a world inhabited by beings who have the consistency of dreams: those who, unbeknownst to us, have left traces, and those who have found us. Our transparency. They present themselves at that moment decisively, but outside oneself. Memory without memories, amnesia, which approaches what is known but unidentifiable. Memory which opens to the familiar and universal presence of the vanished that remains, at the moment when inner and outer merge to make a porous image.

    These are fragments of alchemy where rust and fallen leaves are sublimated into gold: "The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which Seems Delighted with transmutations"


    "There were two shafts of light above a body of water.

    The departing day gave birth to the strange sight of their disappearance, where the visible sinks and disappears into nothingness, becoming invisible and indivisible. Newton’s fluxion, the "quotient of the last two evanescent increments."

    If sometimes the passage from one place to another is a shift, an in-between without perceptible transition, it also happens that it filters out the moments where a glimpse of the elusive is required, a call to drift. To drift among impressions, to drift in uncertainty, to drift in the ineffable.

    Thus begins the slow, imprecise moment that makes space and time merge."

    Light Channel

    Gold Panning

    "Sieving the streams at night, golden jets splash into the dark, sequined in black. Erratic presences, floating, fluctuating.
    Here I am in search of these images that live from their shadows, from their weaknesses, from what they refuse to disclose in order to better reach the riddle of the in-between: the bright gap between two whirlpools; where the invisible accommodates in order to project the visible, where the visible hides within fragmented time.

    Show the world as I believe it is, not as it appears or it appears to me; but as it disappears, when what remains is more consistent in its turbulent essence, eternally elliptical."

  • Biography


    France , 1967

    Anne Pharel is a French artist and photographer seeking to show vanishing traces of light. Her studio was long established in the heart of Provence and is now located in the Alps.

    In addition to her personal practice of drawing, sculpture, writing and photography, Anne Pharel has participated in the design and production of numerous exhibitions.

    At the heart of Anne Pharel’s photographic approach is the question of the passing of time. Working on various media - silver paper, light boxes, metal frames or plexiglass, she invites us to share her perception of time, where moments escape and stretch at the same time. She tries to capture those instants to make them visible at the very moment they disappear, when they are past and future confounded. It is in the heart of nature during night walks that she captures the trees, foliage, streams and trunks that punctuate these suspended minutes.

    Among the exhibitions curated by Anne Pharel, Willy Ronis in 1997 at L'Isle sur Sorgue then in 2001 at Gordes Castle and J.H Lartigue in 1999 at L'Isle sur Sorgue. She had her first personal exhibition in 2014, and since then her works have been shown regularly in museums, foundations, festivals, galleries and Art Fairs. In 2023, several of her series are exhibited in the project "Zero gravity" at the Art Center of Campredon (France). Her works have been acquired by several institutions including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.


  • Exhibitions
  • Press