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Franck Gérard

Celebrated Nantes artist and photographer, Franck Gérard, came back to residence at Metal in Southend this June to create a new collection of photographs taken on the streets of Southend.

Born in Poitiers ,France, Gérard graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, where he now lives and works. He first visited Southend in September 2016 on a short, research trip to Metal.  He had been capturing imagery of two French Estuaries at Nantes/Saint Nazaire and Le Havre for festivals in France.  Metal approached Gérard to create a project in response to a third Estuary – the Thames. Franck spent two weeks soaking up the atmosphere of Southend, living at Metal’s Chalkwell Hall and taking a series of test photographs. He was also struck, while in the UK, by the local newspaper, The Echo, and its coverage (in images and text) of everyday events in the town.

Franck Gérard captures the unusual and the incongruous of everyday life through ‘wandering’.  He navigates the streets instinctively, without a plan or map, capturing fleeting moments that would otherwise go unnoticed, often surreal situations involving people on the streets.

Previous wanderings include ‘En l’état (As is), July 13, 1999 – Today’ a body of images collected since July 13, 1999. ‘Twenty-Six Days’, one of his most recent series, was taken during a residency in Los Angeles, with the support from the Institut Français and the city of Nantes.

2018 Residency – Another Echo

In June, Gérard took daily photos of Southend and selected 10 images for a project he has titled, ‘Another ‘Echo’.  Through a generous partnership with our much loved local, daily newspaper, The Echo – a large format photograph was printed each day from 18 June for 2 weeks. You can see some examples of these below!


Future Park

During his residency, Franck Gérard gave a talk at our regular Future Park event on 21 June at Chalkwell Hall. You can watch the recording of his talk here.