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Hannun spaces

hannun spaces

The eternal summer of Cecilia Renard

Listen to this story

The Menorcan photographer Cecilia Renard portrays her house in Sóller, a small town located on the northwestern coast of the island of Mallorca, for Hannun. A timeless place that invites us to live at a slower pace. We had the chance to talk with her about the artistic inspiration in connection with the Balearic Islands and the magic of analog photography.

QUESTION. Tell us about your creative awakening in the world of analog photography.

ANSWER. Although my parents are not from Menorca, I had the privilege of being born and living on the island in a house overlooking the port of Mahon until I was 17. I grew up on the seaside, an element that has permeated my artistic identity ever since. My mother used to encouraged me to pay attention to the details (and she still does). That is why I think that my photos do not capture general scenes, but rather singular moments.

I distinctly remember entering the world of photography. I was 16. I became friends with a girl studying to get her Bachelor of Arts. She had a reflex camera and lent it to me for a few days so that I could try it. I started taking creative pictures of my friends at the beach and loved the experience. A while later, a friend found an analog camera and gave it to me. I learned on the job.

Kiara chair

Q. You grew up in Menorca and now live in Mallorca. We like that the Mediterranean is such a great source of inspiration in your work. What does it mean to you?

A. Well, the landscape certainly helps. But what I like most about the Mediterranean and, more specifically, the Balearic Islands is this special light we have here. You cannot find it anywhere else. I have lived in several countries, and it has been difficult for me to see the same marvelous light elsewhere. Eventually, while living abroad, I realized that my body always asked me to return to these islands. I have such a powerful connection with this place.

I studied in Madrid, then in Barcelona, spent some time in Argentina and ended up living in Mexico for three years, in Mexico City and Oaxaca. Although all of them are super inspiring cities in terms of their cultural life and the color of their streets, I did not identify my essence there. That's why I came back.

Merita cutting table

Q. What kind of scenes inspire you when taking pictures?

A. I am very inspired by everyday moments I see when I travel: people in the markets or cooking. I enjoy capturing the essence of a country through its gastronomy. I do not seek to climb the highest mountain, capture the best landscape, or force an artificial scene. I want to show the natural and imperfect aspects of life.

Years ago, if I found elements that I did not like aesthetically in a scene, I removed them to take the photo. But now, I usually leave everything as it is. I do not like to alter reality anymore.

Eliette scented candles

Q. How does your day to day life look in Sóller?

A. Living in the mountains of Mallorca is tremendously inspiring in many ways. It is an area far away from mass tourism. Life has a slower pace in this part of the island.

One thing that I love about Mallorca is that nature is alive every season, not only in the summer. Once, we went on a picnic in the winter. We were the only people at the beach, and all the natural beauty around us took our breath away. I usually spend the winter exploring the island, looking for new shooting locations. I barely go to Palma –– I have definitely become an old lady –– but I love that. In the city, you spend your days buying things you do not need. You get carried away by fashion. You have to take taxis because you cannot get to places on time or dine out because you do not have time to cook. But in the village, the rhythm of life is more relaxed. I walk everywhere because everything is close. I just have to go out for a walk with my camera and see what I find.

Bona Mirror

Q. Do you think analog photography is also an artisanal process?

A. I had never seen it that way, but now that you make me think about it, you are totally right. Analog photography can be considered handmade because it is a slower process. You have to be very careful when taking a picture since you cannot modify or repeat the shot if you do not like it. You cannot shoot 300 photos with an analog camera and then select the ones you like, as would be possible with digital cameras. On the other hand, there is something magical in waiting for the development of the film without knowing in advance what the final result will look like.

I do not entirely avoid digital cameras either. I sometimes need to use a digital camera with some more technical projects where the goal is less artistic.

Oyoze tableware

Q. In addition to the photos, you are also responsible for designing the spaces in your projects. What kind of elements do you use to communicate the values of a slower lifestyle?

A. I do not pay much attention to the photographic quality or the technical aspect of my pictures. I like to take care of the details and create a tangible atmosphere. I love simple, minimalist spaces, with natural and artisanal elements.

I value handmade products. I have either made all the ceramics in my house myself or commissioned them from ceramists that I personally know. Additionally, I have bought almost all my furniture from antique stores.

Amaral vases

Q. How important are sustainability and responsible consumption for you?

A. Sustainability is fundamental to me. I know that if we do not take care of our planet, what I cherish most in this world, that is, these islands, may disappear in the future. Because of my passion for the planet, my everyday actions reflect my concern for the environment. I try to use my washing machine less, adopt sustainable cosmetics, avoid plastic packaging, bring my own bags to the grocery store, and fill water in glass bottles only.

It is also true that there are many things that I cannot control. For example, I am forced to travel by plane to the peninsula for work since most of my projects are based there. That is a thorn in my side.

Kalenda night table

Q. How did you like working with Hannun?

A. What I love about Hannun is that you have not lost the artisanal essence since your inception. When we were preparing this project, I asked you to send me some ceramic dishes that I saw on your website. You answered that it was impossible to get them right away because, as they are on-demand items, the artisan had to make them from scratch. The whole process would have taken too much time. I love this kind of attention to detail.

When I did receive the products, I was amazed by the quality of your textiles. I also love your ceramics. I think they are in line with my lifestyle. Taking pictures for Hannun has been incredibly easy because your products exist in harmony with my home.

Dorian vase


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