The profound empathy I hold for my fellow peers fuels an intense desire to shed light on their stories, to amplify their voices, and to spark an open and inclusive dialogue within our society. Through my artistic endeavors, I aspire to challenge preconceived notions, dismantle barriers, and foster a deeper understanding of the realities faced by those with invisible chronic illnesses. By sharing their narratives, I aim to cultivate empathy and promote a more compassionate and inclusive society, where the experiences of these young adults are acknowledged and embraced.
Through my photography, I focus on vulnerable groups in our society, primarily young adults who have been forced to take a different path due to physical or mental health challenges. During their formative years, which takes away their innocence and leaves an indelible impact. However, I believe that this experience makes them powerful and exceptional individuals. My own story also plays a significant role in my work, as I too have walked a different path.
As these young people and their stories are often overlooked, I aim to provide them with a platform to share their experiences. I seek to raise awareness and start a conversation about the impact of chronic illness that remain unseen, and I hope that my art will contribute to making our society more inclusive.
Through my work, I explore the connection between our society and the mental and physical health of young people. I view our society as one that prioritizes achievement and competition, leading to a rat race. Is there a connection between the well-being of young people and the high expectations of our times? I shed light on groups that wish to live differently, on the subcultures that arise from this pressure and on the coping mechanisms people use to deal with it.
In the pursuit of my artistic development, I aspire to delve deeper into my autonomous work. I aim to continue exploring marginalized groups within our society, with a focus on narrating exceptional stories. Looking ahead to the coming year, my intention is to further advance my research into the physical and mental well-being of young individuals, while taking significant strides forward. Alternatively, I harbor a strong desire to embark on a project in Portugal, immersing myself within an utopia, and document their way of living. In addition to my autonomous endeavors, I seek opportunities to engage in commissioned work, infusing it with my artistic signature. Furthermore, collaborating conceptually with small, alternative businesses, particularly in the realm of fashion, enthralls me. As it would allow me to create promotional material that resonates with their distinctive ethos.
Learned during the studies
During my education at the University of Arts in Utrecht, specializing in photography has provided me with valuable lessons. Self-reflection has played a crucial role, allowing me to explore my creative processes and evaluate my work in a critical manner. This introspection has led to the development of my authentic artistic identity.
Establishing a referential framework has been instrumental in my growth. By understanding the creative, historical and contemporary contexts of photography, I have expanded my artistic vision and discovered my unique voice within the medium.
Trusting the creative process has been a vital lesson. Embracing uncertainty and experimentation have led to breakthroughs and innovative approaches, opening new avenues of self-expression.
Developing my visual language has been a significant focus. From ideation to conceptualization, I precisely craft each element of my compositions to convey specific messages or evoke emotions, resulting in cohesive bodies of work.
In summary, my education at the University of Arts in Utrecht has taught me the importance of self-reflection, a referential framework, trust in the creative process, and the development of my visual language. Armed with these lessons, I am ready to navigate the conceptual journey of photography with confidence and authenticity.
Essays on Chronic Illness
In the second semester, I had the privilege of attending an internship provided by Dana Lixenberg. While assisting Dana during various photoshoots, I had the opportunity to witness her artistic process firsthand. Notably, she was working on a project commissioned by the Amsterdam City Archives, documenting the contemporary state of the famous Red Light District in 2022. Additionally, I supported her on assignments for esteemed publications such as Time Magazine and NRC Magazine. Assisting Dana allowed me to expand my knowledge of analog photography techniques and gain insights into her unique workflow.
These internships were pivotal in my development as a photographer, offering hands-on experiences, exposure to renowned projects, and the chance to collaborate with established professionals. The insights gained from working alongside Lara Verheijden and Dana Lixenberg have profoundly enriched my understanding of the art industry and expanded my artistic horizons.