Photo and paint

Huiself (house elf) and Huisgeest (house spirit) are imaginary friends that make the place you live in, actually your own house no matter where you are. Besides the fact that they are fantasy figures, they also represent the inhabitants and their characteristics.

For this collage series I used photographs als raw material. These photos are partly my own images and partly images from magazines. I feel the need to use only photographical material because photos relate to the images in my head that I want to depict the best.

I stick the images on a wooden panel and enhance them with paint, to make the total image more cohesive and to let the separate images melt together. All these different actions are visible in the final result. The different textures of the used paper, the cuts and the splashes of paint can be seen very clearly. Is doesn’t have to look smooth like a printed photo. This emphasizes the aspect of time in the whole process and the spontaneous and intuitive way of working.  

I consider the collage technique as an extension of photography that fits in the category art photography. Especially working with the analogue collage technique enables me to be independent from ideas about how things should look like or are supposed to be done. You can start with an image without knowing what comes out in the end. In my opinion art photography is still important today because it is one of the ways to be completely creative as a photographer, without someone or something else interfering. Its very hard nowadays to find a photo or a photographical idea that we haven’t already seen somewhere before. 

For this reason, art photography is more important and meaningful than ever. It is a way to let sincere creativity flow and it enables the photographer to literally create an image out of nothing and to slowly build it up. In this working process the manual aspect is very important to me, because it limits in a certain way. It’s like working on a puzzle and every part has to fit together. It sometimes takes a few months before I have found the right image that exactly fits in and finishes the collage. A single photo could be made in 1/4000 S, so this is the opposite way of working. Slow photography.

How am I creating a new way of seeing and a new importance with my images? In a regular photographical process, you can directly see what is coming out. You have already seen the image through the lens and the light and the situation with its ingredients are already there. As a photographer, you have to deal with the visible reality of that moment. In collage making, this visible reality can be fully created out of nothing. You can literally add photos from a different place, time and perspective and combine these different moments into one image. A collage is a way of showing how multi layered and connected everything is. This makes a collage resembling real life more, than one single image to me. In real life everything is also layered and visibly or invisibly connected.

Photo and paint is a working title for this series. I will use it untill I have found a more suitable one.