Henry Martin: What, if any, responsibility, do you feel as an artist, in what way, or toward whom?
J.J. L’Heureux: My intention is to introduce people to the faces of a few of the notable inhabitants I have met and spent time with throughout the Southern Ocean, its islands and Antarctica. When we meet new people we often reach out, shake hands and peer into the face of the new person. It is a way of coming to some tentative conclusions about the new person and a means to establish a file, a memory.
My purpose is to give you a close up of an individual face, the face of the Ross Ice Shelf, that you may never have the opportunity to experience or meet. I hope by seeing some of my images you will consciously make a small but important change that will have an impact on the world around you.
Henry Martin: Does your work come from the head or the heart?
J.J. L’Heureux: My work comes directly from my heart. I am honored to have had the opportunity to experience the Southern Ocean and Antarctica each season starting in the year 2000 and share these experiences.
Henry Martin: How do you work?
J.J. L’Heureux: Before leaving on an expedition I have a broad idea of a project. Once in the environment the weather often limits my ability to get to the area I had previously thought would be of interest. It soon becomes clear to me the options that I have from continually keeping an eye on the bridge maps, weather and landings. Upon returning to my studio I slowly look at my images and develop a series or exhibition.
Henry Martin: What is inspiration? How do you find it?
J.J. L’Heureux: My photographic series reminds me that there could be 10,000 additional images one behind the other or blending together, unfolding with a few more steps. My mind and eye seem only to focus on the foremost images until those few seconds have passed and I find the place occupied with almost any surprise. There are other places in the world full of images but today the Southern Ocean and Antarctica is my inspiration.
Title: Ross Ice Shelf 12. Date: 2017. Format: Photograph. Dimensions: 5″ x 5″. Credit: J.J. L’Heureux