This project was heavily inspired by traditional portraits of the Madonna and Child genre. Although it showcases the same nurturing and intuitive qualities that are associated with Mother Mary and therefore women in general, in these portraits those qualities are explicitly separated from motherhood. Instead, the women are captured while they comfort their male partners. This project aims so celebrate the traditional ‘softer’ qualities associated with the female sex, and present them as the strong and essential personality traits that they are.
‘Birth of Venus’ is a portrait series of young girls, inspired by the famous Venus painting by Botticelli. Within mythology Venus as the Goddess of Love, was also described as a necessary counter force to the male energy. Traditionally Venus was depicted as a mature woman, but in this series young girls take her place. They are standing in a shell-shaped sandbox, that’s made up out of both a blue, and a pink halve as a reference to the balance between the male and female essence. They’re not playing but seem frozen in a moment of reflection. Within mythological telling’s plants grew wherever Venus went. But the backyards in the pictures seem unnatural: the grass and the hedge are made of plastic. Although their surroundings seem pleasant, there seems to be an eerie tension in the air. What does it mean to grow up as a woman in today’s world, and what role is reserved for femininity in these young girls’ future?
Wavelengths is a portrait series of ex-lovers, inspired by pendant paintings from the Late Medieval Period. Both models were asked to draw a line to describe the course of their relationship with each other. These two individual timelines of ups-and-downs are placed in the background of the portraits, forming a kind of emotional landscape. Instead of glorifying a current love connection, which we often tend to do, the Wavelengths series instead can be seen as an ode to past relationships. In all its awkwardness. Within the romantic and monumental setting of the portraits, the sadness that usually accompanies a break-up shines through.
Anyone would agree that raising a child is anything but child’s play. Exhibiting parents down on their hands and knees, the project reflects on different aspects of the parental role. It emphasizes the subservient nature of parenthood and confronts us with a vulnerability that we are not accustomed to associate with our parents. At the same time, the soft, pink carpet under them feels inviting and reminds us of playing on the floor. The uncomfortable position the models are captured in, does not exclude pride. It’s a kneeling out of care, commitment and love, and the vulnerability that comes with the discomfort of this position, that I wanted to capture in these images.
A portrait series where mothers’ faces are placed onto their daughter’s bodies. The work reflects on growing up as a woman and the shifting relationship we might have with our bodies. It emphasizes the common nature of this journey. Your mother has most likely had a very similar experience growing up as you did. At the same time it is also a reference to our modern western society and it’s focus on the young female body.
‘A Thing of Beauty’ plays with our interpretation and expectance of beauty. The setting the model is photographed in refers to common visual styles in advertising photography. Within this commercial photography setting where we’d normally expect to see a professional model, we stumble upon a unexpected face. Instead of the sleek perfection which is usually strived for in the advertising world, the physique of the male model we see here is representative of a distinct human vulnerability. From the birthmarks that cover the righthand side of his body to the difference in the size of his pupils: beauty is coming from an unexpected place here.