Brigitte Grignet

Location: Liege, Belgium
Nationality: Belgian/American
Biography: Brigitte Grignet is a Belgian photographer focusing in a more personal type of documentary photography. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York, where she lived for 15 years. She worked with Mary Ellen Mark... read on
Public Story
Copyright Brigitte Grignet 2022
Date of Work Jun 2013 - Jun 2013
Updated Oct 2018

There is always a persistent noise, somewhere, despite the neverending quest for being fully in the present. Today I am escaping my to-do lists and fleeing to Isola Comacina on the Como Lake. The suitcase is ready, the photo bag  is in the trunk. Kilometers fly by but I am already thinking about what I’d like to accomplish. Stubborn habits. The house  is waiting, bright and chilly. Birds got quiet, for a moment. Ducks are not used to our presence yet and hares are hiding.


The night came upon us, alone on the island, with the only human presence of Erick next door. In the morning we leave on expeditions. On the steps of Kafka and Stendhal, it is easy to be seduced by the grace of the lake, the lushness of vegetation and the reminders of the elegance of another time. Villas are waiting for summer. Tomatoes are bursting with colors. But in the mountains there are few farmers left and many young people have left and work in Switzerland. Erbonne, former fiefdom of smugglers, only counts 10 inhabitants nowadays.


The carnival of Schignano reminds of the poverty and emigration that used to characterize the region of Val D’Intelvi. In Mezzegra a cross evokes Mussolini’s death. Forget about postcards and tourist busses. Stay still.  Every night a toad comes in the kitchen. We stare at each other, petrified. On a Sunday we watched the storm strike on the Lario. The light became more mysterious, more dramatic.


Between encounters and wanders time got less pressing. Under a burning sun, there is an unsuspected solemnity. A gentleness, too. The gentleness of these weeks spent facing oneself, looking at the infinitesimally small. 


Artist residency - June 2013

WBI Wallonie Bruxelles International


Also by Brigitte Grignet —


New York-This is not America

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By Brigitte Grignet — In 2016 I set off to explore Poland, after a conversation I had with a Polish friend, who was wondering..


By Brigitte Grignet / POLAND — In 2016 I set off to explore Poland, after a conversation I had with a Polish friend, who was wondering..

The Children of the Sea

By Brigitte Grignet — IBIS was created in 1906 by King Albert in Ostend (Belgium) to offer a home and a maritime school to orphan..


By Brigitte Grignet / OAXACA — After the years spent with Mary Ellen Mark, Mexico only existed in black and white in my world. It was..

Colombia-El Corazón del Mundo

By Brigitte Grignet / La SIerra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia — In the Sierra Nevada, in the northern mountains of Colombia, the guerilla is hiding. The paramilitary is..

The Damned and the Beautiful

By Brigitte Grignet / Aysen, Patagonia, Chile — Aysén, Chile, a region of some 92.000 souls, sits in one of the most remote and undisturbed areas of the..


By Brigitte Grignet / Palestine, The Occupied Territories, Israel — The sound of the muezzin at four am. Some sheep grazing in the meager fields at the outskirts of the city...

Here & Now

By Brigitte Grignet — Within me, I have childhood memories and frozen moments. From evenings spent looking at family albums, these..

Troubled Life-Northern Ireland

By Brigitte Grignet / Northern Ireland, Europe — « Going to Derry is like traveling to an exotic country, » Anne says. Anne lives in Letterkenny, in the..

Welcome 2016

By Brigitte Grignet / Belgium — WELCOME Since the dawn of time people have migrated. There are now more displaced people and refugees than..

Chiloé-La Cruz del Sur

By Brigitte Grignet — In 1974, I was six. I was in Belgium and I had never heard words such as “exile” or..
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