Odile is 82 years old and has never been married, consequently living independently in a flat adjoining her nephew’s house, in the heart of the Alsace region in France. Her daily routine begins with a café au lait and toast. As Odile loads her aging stove with fresh timber, the sounds of Rtl2, the local radio forms an ever-present accompaniment. Her day is structured, offering an element of control over elements that could otherwise be quite daunting. As the breakfast dishes begin to dry, time has brought a rush for lunch, and preparations continues, never ending, as once simple tasks merge to fill her time – such is the extent of her delayed movement from health issues.
Impromptu and brief afternoon naps come as a result of her continuous and committed routine, Odile’s body often exhausted and craving rest. Despite the fact home-help or other Government aid is available, this is something that unnerves Odile, as she bitterly highlights, “were old people to be removed from their habits, they would be left with nothing.” The high priority she places on what others may view as menial tasks often leaves Odile under pressure and in a panic, continually searching for her next job. Odile’s continual strive to maintain, what in her view resembles her own meaningful and necessary independence, is a continual drain on her fragile frame.
About the Photographer
After working in finance, Gratiane graduated from the International Center of Photography in 2007 and from the London College of Communication in 2008, where she achieved her Master in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
She received a price at the portfolio review of the Photo Festival In Arles in 2007. She was awarded the first price in the Editorial Photography Student Category at the New York Festival (2008), was commended for the Ian Parry Scholarship (2008) and was then among the winners of Magenta’s Foundation’s annual international competition for emerging photographers, Flash Forward 2009. In 2010, she was nominated by the American magazine Photo District News, among the “PDN 30” in their choice of new emerging photographers to watch. She has taken part in various Group shows in France, New-York, Los-Angeles and London. Her work has been featured in the Sunday Times, The British Journal of Photography, Photo District News, Paris-match, Le Monde Magazine, Live magazine and Le journal du Dimanche among others. Her work is distributed by Reportage by Getty Images.