Flags around the world is a personal thought. It deals with a topic that affects everyone at this time. The birth of this idea was a joyful and energizing moment. The thought occurred to me while falling asleep. It was a dream. I was so excited to wanted to work on the project right away and I couldn't sleep all night. The flags symbolize dynamism and solidarity.
Being static and rigid as a result of little or no activity is not the best condition for us. Perhaps a certain dynamic, a more considerate adaptation of the situation that is affecting all of us, would be a way to help one other. We are affected one way or another. It is required that not only we adapt to the current situation but also embrace creativity to gain hope during these difficult times. Aren’t we all hoping for a quick return to some kind of normalcy? That’s a common wish everywhere.
These works were created in a different method than our previous series titled “Symphonie of Colors”. Those works were created directly in front of the camera in a liquid form with acrylic paints. One photo, one work. That meant maybe a bit of brightness, contrast, and some color adjustment without major editing.
"Cohesion" was the main theme of "Flags Around the World". That was also implemented in the processing. Each work consists of approximately 30-40 realistic photos that were created directly for each flag. The technology is similar to that of our previous works, but the flags are not created in a specially prepared liquid, but in water. These photos were then processed and combined in a collage to form a work. At first, I was afraid of contact and I tried to create the flags completely in water. It quickly turned out that this didn't work, so all colors had to be created individually and brought together in a collage. This is a very time-consuming process, as light, shadow, color temperature and perspective in particular had to be kept in mind for later processing.
At this point in time, the flags of the G8 member states are completed. The next phase is working on the flags of the G20 member states.
We are excited and happy that two galleries have already agreed to exhibit this series. We want to present the project around the world. Our message is clear: solidarity, hope, effort, and creativity. We need to come together to make it through this global crisis. The series is supposed to serve as a welcome distraction. The hope is that it will encourage the viewer to think that we can do anything if we come together. It should also be mentioned that this is a family project. What makes this project extra special is that not only Madeleine and I create the play of colors, but our two children, Aurélie 7 and Emily 13, were also involved. The idea was to underline the solidarity that begins in a family unit. We also want to thank our friend Eric de Grood from Atlanta, GA and who brings the project to the public with us. We are grateful to everyone who supports us.
You can read here another interview with Mike & Madeleine.