Philippe Me­tois

Island Life - - Explore -

Born in 1961 in Morocco, of French de­scent, Philippe Mé­tois ar­rived in Van­u­atu in 1984, cam­era al­ready hang­ing around his neck. The di­ver­sity of the is­lands and their scenery, the cul­tural wealth of the coun­try… what more could you wish for if you were a young artist in search of beauty and orig­i­nal­ity? Un­be­knownst to him then, Philippe had come to stay. While check­ing out the ideal me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions for un­der­wa­ter or aerial pho­tog­ra­phy, al­ways on the look­out for what might be go­ing on in the coun­try in terms of events, the pur­pose is in­vari­ably the same: to record beauty for all eternity. The beauty of a coun­try, of its mag­i­cal or Dan­tean-like scenery, from its lush trop­i­cal marine life to the very tip of ac­tive vol­ca­noes, the beauty of its tra­di­tional rituals un­touched by the mod­ern world, the beauty of its peo­ple, of­ten de­scribed as the hap­pi­est on earth. While Philippe has vis­ited most of the is­lands in the coun­try and taken an abun­dance of pho­to­graphs, the is­land of Tanna holds a spe­cial place in his heart and inevitably, in his work, which in­cludes close to twenty thou­sand shots taken over a pe­riod of nearly thirty years. Hence his record­ing and re­port­ing of the Toka cer­e­monies is of im­mense his­tor­i­cal value. A vast num­ber of th­ese pho­to­graphs are avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic in the form of post­cards or philatelic stamps. Large-size print­outs are fre­quently on dis­play in Port Vila or Syd­ney, and pro­jec­tions of­ten ac­com­pany cul­tural ex­hi­bi­tions in Van­u­atu. Philippe, who be­longed for many years to the agency called AL­TI­TUDE of Yann Arthus Ber­trand, is now of­fer­ing us the op­por­tu­nity of dis­cov­er­ing and en­joy­ing his en­tire work through the new on-line agency at www.wakapho­tos.com.

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