I was born in Emmen in the Netherlands. I became interested in photography and studied fine arts at Academie Minerva in Groningen, where I graduated.
Flederland is the project I have been working on since 2003. Everything in this project has its roots in the idea that nothing is what it seems. Reality as it is percieved is not reality like it is. With that point of view any dreamworld is just as plausible as the one that we’ve all agreed upon to be real. I decided to build a dreamworld where not only the nice dreams get all the attention. The dark side and the nightmares should not be neglected. Denying the dark side is denying a part of the human soul.
The shadows in particular are very interesting, there’s something beautiful hidden there, there’s always something new to discover. If you only focus on the brighter parts of my pictures, you miss half of the picture.
The emphasis on the shadows is not only essential for the image, it shows a lot about how a person handles the darker sides of life. If you can see the beauty of shadows, then you try to live life to the fullest. That’s a very brief explanation of the philosophical side of the project.
The idea came when I was combining photos in the analog photolab at Academie Minerva. I was trying to create photos of situations that never existed, except in the image. Since then, the way in which I work has become completely digital. The step from analog photography to creating images digitally was a logical one. Certainly the most logical step I could take during my studies at Academie Minerva. It gave me the possibility to work very fast and translate from thought to image in a matter of hours rather than weeks. I had an advantage at working with the computer because of my knowledge of different techniques used in photography (the terminology is mostly the same in the lab and in the programme). Because of that I could work faster, because I would know in advance how a filter or modus would affect the image. And above all I could take much more liberty in my work this way than I ever could in the lab.
I started with a series named “Clash”, where I would combine two photo’s (very crudely done in the beginning) with a digital pattern in the middle to mask the most annoying transitions. In the two years that followed I experimented a lot with digital techniques: I wanted to built landscapes that were technically correct, but not logically. The photos became more abstract and the editing more extreme. The biggest difficulty was how to make one picture out of many different photos.
After my graduation the images became less abstract and instead of avoiding a clear subject in the image I started working on vast and mostly empty landscapes. Flederland will keep on evolving.