Tag Archives: Jacqueline Roberts

Europe Week: Margaret de Lange

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares the last of her European selections today with Margaret de Lange. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts. It’s been a wonderful week!

Margaret de Lange lives and works in Norway. She studied photography in Oslo. She has held solo exhibitions among other places in: Tarragona, Brussels, Paris, New York, Stockholm . She was recognized for Best portfolio at the Photo Festival in Arles, France, and with an Honorable mention by the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. She has published two books, Daughters and Surrounded by no one with Trolleybooks (London) .

In her series entitled, Daughters, Margaret presents black and white photographs taken of her two daughters during the summers of their childhood. Though the project began in 1993 and continued through 2002, it wasn’t until both daughters were old enough to grant their permission did de Lange take the step of exhibiting the work.

The images depict the two girls enjoying their summers out of doors, barefoot and often bare-bodied, in a dark and grainy, high-contrast style. In the photographs, the children seem to be a part of the nature around them, with dirt and grass clinging to knees and feet, with hoods of animal skin; they become like the creatures of Scandinavian folklore that, as de Lange explains, “were said to appear at twilight, and were always beautiful, but often evil as well.” And so we view the daughters, captured as they linger in a hazy half-darkness, in that time between day and night and an age between child and adult, exploring, discovering, and experiencing all of those little adventures which amount to growing up. These “creatures” exhibit their initiated ways through various little clues: dead birds hanging from string, bold stares from beneath fury capes. All together, the effect is unabashedly dark and earthy, yet calm and elegantly matter-of-fact.

The images, de Lange points out, are representative of a typical Norwegian childhood during the brief but sweet summer months. However, the way in which the images are rendered, with deeply encroaching shadows and heavy grain, pushes the subject into more of a dream realm that speaks more of the meandering experience of these pre-adolescent girls and a world that is very much their own.

As for the daughters, the photographs represent a precious conservation of memory. “She has preserved random pieces of our childhood, and we treasure those moments” says Jannicke de Lange, speaking for herself and her younger sister, Catherine.

Europe Week: Oleg Videnin

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, today with Oleg Videnin. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts. 
Oleg Videnin was born in Bryansk (Russia) in 1963. Trained as a forestry engineer, he eventually worked in newspapers, radio, and television, becoming a member of the Russian Union of Journalists. His childhood interest in photography grew into a full-fledged passion in the late 1990s, his work has since gained international recognition. Oleg has had solo exhibition in Russia, Serbia, Australia, and the United States, and has been featured in numerous magazines. His photographs are included in the collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, as well as in private collections in Russia and abroad.
Oleg lives with his family in Bryansk.
“I was going round the world searching for an interesting place, when I realized that the place that I was in was already interesting.” Emmet Gowin 

Jacqueline states: When I first saw Oleg’s work I was riveted by the strong connection that exists between him and the people he photographs. Like an August Sander, Oleg has been meticulously photographing his region, his town, his people and his neighbours. Young and old, men and women, jubilant and despondent, communities and outsiders… his work is very much local and documental. Yet it is the universal dimension and the emotional quality of his portraits that keeps me coming back to his images….

Europe Week: Sofie Knijff

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, today with Sofie Knijff. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts.

Sofie Knijff graduated from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam in 2007 after a career in the world of theatre. She has won numerous awards such as the Netherlands Photo Academy Award, the Harry Penning’s Award and the FOTO 8 “People’s Choice” Award (UK). In 2011, she received a grant from the Sem Presser Fund and in 2012 from the Mondriaan Foundation. Nominated Emerging Artist by the Fotomuseum Winthertur in Switzerland, her work has since been widely exhibited in Europe and in the US.

Her series Translations will be published by Kehrer Verlag.

Sofie comments on the European photography scene:  Photography is recognized and rising as an art form among collectors and galleries. In the Netherlands, we also have Art foundations that support the development of Dutch photography and some internationally known photobook designers (Kummer & Hermann, SYB, Teun van der Heijden, Hans Gremmen).

The work presented is a selection of images from my series “Translations”. Over the past 3 years I have traveled through Mali, India ,South- Africa, Brazil and Greenland. Portraying children and their fantasy world. My aim was to isolate these children from their surroundings, and daily life, and focus their attention in order to reveal their own “dream character”.

 By using the same backdrop, I created a stage on which the dreams could come to life. The challenge was to build a subtle level concentration to capture the moment of transformation. At the same time, I took images of the empty spaces in which these children live; allowing to create a set of portraits where the inside and outside mirror and influence one another.

Europe Week: Alain Laboile

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, today with Alain Laboile. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts.
Alain Laboile was born in Bordeaux (France) in 1969. In 1990 he meets his wife, Anne, an Art student and his passion for art snowballs. After cumulating jobs here and there, Alain becomes a sculptor, fascinated by insects he sculpts in plaster, in stone, in rusty iron. They live in Bordeaux, on top of the hill. Their children are born. The house now bursting at the seams, they leave the hill for the “stream on the edge of the world”. Alain starts taking pictures of his sculptures, then his children, every day… a diary of everyday life.

Alain has won numerous awards and has exhibited his work across France. His first monograph, En attendant le facteur, (Waiting for the postman) is out now. 

What does your French
cultural heritage bring to your work?
From my point of view, I would say that what makes the
singularity of my work is more the fact that I live in the countryside than the
fact that I am french.
My work resonates beyond the borders, it evokes the lost
childhood in which even an Argentinian or a Japanese can find himself. The
opposition to a urban lifestyle is to my mind stronger than the belonging to a
What difference do you
see between work created in Europe and in the States?
I don’t ask myself questions regarding the nakedness of my
children when I take my pictures. Nudity is part of my work, but it is not its
main subject. This relation towards nudity is not the same in the US, it is
seemingly less natural.
What is the state of
photography in your country?

Living off in the
countryside, I realized that most of the activity and opportunities for a
photographer are in the capital: 
Paris is the
place to be.

I’m a father of six. My children are my subject… an endless
I just have to look at them, children are creative, you just
need to be there waiting for things to happen in the frame and “click”.

Today, photographing my children moving and playing in their
own environment, with their spontaneous behaviour is my favourite subject. My
photography is like a daily diary. 
If there is emotion in the
picture, that’s good, even if it is a bit blurred or poorly framed. For me, it
is not a problem.

Emotion may arise from ordinary situations, from little
things referring to ourselves. That is why family pictures are constantly
renewing themselves. Someone commented about my images that they are like
“street family” photography. I love “street” photography.
It is not something I can practice because I live in the countryside, but I
find my work quite close to that spirit there. There are similarities in the
raw side and spontaneous situations photographed. These are pieces of life that
transcribe a certain reality. 

Europe Week: Hélène Amouzou

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, today with Hélène Amouzou. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts.

Hélène Amouzou was born in Togo in 1969, but currently lives in Brussels, Belgium, where she is completing her studies at the Academy of Drawing and Visual Arts of Molenbeek-St-Jean.
Hélène self portraits have been exhibited in Belgium and France. Last year, she presented her work at the photography festival Photoquai 2011, in Paris.

Her book, Entre le papier peint et le mur, is published by Husson Editeur, Belgium.

Jacqueline Roberts writes: Looking at Hélène’s self-portraits I cannot help but wonder whether her evanescent body emerges from the wall or fades into it… torn between two identities, rootless and in transit. “I always have the impression to be traveling” she says. “I am not Togolese, nor Belgian”. In her quest for identity, Hélène puts down her empty suitcase in an equally empty attic… her no man’s land…

When asked about the European photography scene, Hélène says she finds inspiration in and sees American photography as a reference for European photographers. Since the financial crisis, investment in art has dramatically dropped in Europe. Galleries and art collectors are overly cautious nowadays. There is nevertheless great work coming from Europe and if the work is good, there is a way to find some support, even if such support may no longer be financial.

Europe Week: Salva Lopez

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, starting with Salva Lopez. A huge thank you toJacqueline for her insight and efforts. Her statement for why she selected the photographers follows: 

 I chose these photographs because they move me. They are portraits of people, young or old. They tell a story, maybe theirs, maybe ours. Some speak softly, hushing over us like in Lopez’ muted portraits of old people. Others exude exuberance and vitality, like in Laboile’s family life. Some are languid portraits, others raw pictures of a sore existence. Some stare right back at us, like in Videnin’s photographs; others gently lower their gaze. Yet for me, they all share that essential quality that turns a good photograph into a great one: immediacy. We know a good photograph when we see one. When I look at these images, I relate to them immediately, to the people they portray, to the narrative. They have their own language, a language that speak to me, a language that I understand. There is an intuitive connection that synchronises our own experience with a photograph. A reciprocal flow. An empathic exchange. 

I was at Getxophoto this summer, an international photo festival near Bilbao (Spain), and it struck me when two passers-by paused in front of a photograph and remarked: “Oh that’s very nice, but what does that mean? What was the artist trying to tell us?” searching for answers. Images carry meaning, they do; but in my case, it is the quest for questions that I relish when looking at a photograph. To me, these photographs tell us about loneliness, joy and pain; about dreams, beauty and hopelessness; about search and loss… Vehicles for meanings, emotions and thoughts. Stories of bodies and souls… ultimately, metaphors of life and what lies underneath.–Jacqueline Roberts

image by Salva Lopez

Salva López (Barcelona, 1984) trained as a graphic designer but when he discovered photographers Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth, he realised that photography was what he wanted to do. Since then Salva has gained recognition in Spain as an emerging talent, winning many awards (e.g.Fotoactitud, Photoespaña) and showing his work in exhibitions and photo festivals.

Salva is currently working on his project “The Green Curtain”, about the mount Montjuïc in Barcelona. He is also co-editor of the blog “Have a Nice Book” about photography books that he edits with his friend and also photographer Yosigo.

Roig 26 is a project that I have carried
out bit by bit through observation, reflection and from my experience of living
with my grand parents, Marina y José, for five years in their modest apartment
on Roig street, in the Barcelona “Raval” district. An apartment that
has been the stage of their relationship for more than 60 years. A whole life
inside these same walls and these same fears.

With Roig 26 my intention was not to draw a true portrait of their own reality, but rather to recreate one, through what I have experienced with them.

What does your cultural heritage bring to your work?

It is difficult to know which type of cultural heritage has influence my work. Obviously I have my own cultural references, my region, my surroundings, Catalonia, Spain, the Mediterranean and Europe. But in a global world, my influences come also from the United States, through their movies, their music, their literature and particularly through their photography. William Eggleston or Stephen Shore have had an impact on me from the start. 

What difference do see between work created in Europe and in the States?

Ummm… I would say that in the United States a formal approach often predominates along with a more intuitive and visual narrative. I believe that in Europe we perhaps make it more intellectual, we try to find a concept for each photographic work. The ideal work, for me, would that which is visually strong and has an intellectual dimension, that is interesting but not necessarily explicit. In my work, there are days when I wake up as a European and others as an American. Here in Europe we too often “split hairs”.

What is the state of photography in your country (how is photography perceived in the art scene, is there support, are galleries selling, etc.)?
As everybody knows, Spain is going through a massive crisis and the first budget cuts have affected cultural activities. Most grants are gone now, and what is left will not last long. I am not too familiar with galleries so I can’t really say, but one thing is sure, sales have fallen dramatically.
Having said that, I think that Spanish photographers are getting better and we are gradually reaching European levels. People are very motivated and there are more and more groups that support young talented photographers. I know quite well the world of photography books and I can see the progression. Publishing houses are publishing very interesting things and photography books are now making the Top 10 list for best books. Last year for instance, Ricardo Cases with ‘Paloma al aire’ and Julian Barón with ‘CENSURA’ were among the top 10. And it is very likely that Cristina de Middel’s book ‘Afronautas’, will make it this year. 
There is still loads more to do, support and funds are scarce, but luckily and thanks to the Internet it is now much easier to access information and promote your work. The intermediaries who were once indispensable are less so today.

Jacqueline Roberts

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I introduce Jacqueline Roberts as next week’s guest curator and writer.  She will be sharing the work of six contemporary European photographers over the course of the week, exposing us to image makers an ocean away. Today I will be celebrating her wonderful work that beautifully explores children and childhood.

Jacqueline is a Spanish photographer born in Paris and now lives and works in Wincheringen, Germany, with her husband Gareth and their children Madoc, Malen and Emrys–making her a perfect European ambassador of photography. Her work has been shown in France, Spain, Germany and Luxembourg and has won various international awards, including the International Photography Awards in New York and the Prix de la Photographie in Paris. Jacqueline works with different photographic mediums, both digital and analogue, as well as with photographic techniques from the 19th century. She has published two books with editor Galerie Vevais, within the collector’s series Werkdruck and she is currently preparing her third monograph Kindred Spirits, which will be published next year.
 Kindred Spirits is a celebration of childhood and by extension life, tinged with nostalgia; a constructed memory for the future… a family album, simply. At a time in my life where my children are growing up and my parents are ageing… a reminder of the trace of time and fleeting nature of life.
 images from Kindred Spirits

Triptychs is primarily a tribute to my children, all born on the same day, which consists of three triple triptychs. With this series of portraits I wanted to emphasise the connection between them, the fraternal bond, the communion almost, that exists between them. Three distinct individuals yet connected. It was relevant therefore to present the work as triptychs, for the religious connotations it confers to the images but also to embrace the symbolism of the number three in a wider cultural realm. Three represents the triad of family: male, female, and child; the triad of the cycle of life: birth, life, and death; the triad of time: past, present and future; the triad of human nature: mind, body and soul and the Holy Trinity: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit… like an allusion to the sacred status of the child in our contemporary western societies.

images from Triptychs

Eleonora Ronconi

I’m excited to introduce photographer, Eleonora Ronconi,  as next week’s guest curator and writer.  My busy travel schedule this fall opened an opportunity to ask a few guest editors to share work from different parts of the world, giving Lenscratch readers a fresh perspective on photography outside of the United States.  Next week Eleonora will be presenting photographers from Latin America, and in upcoming weeks, German photographer, Jacqueline Roberts, will be sharing work from European Photographers.  I can’t wait to see who they feature and learn more about global photography starting on Monday.  Thank you in advance to Eleonora and Jacqueline for all their efforts.

Eleonora Ronconi by Aline Smithson

Growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Eleonora tried to balance her love for the arts and sciences. She attended medical school for four years, but then had a change of heart and followed her entrepreneurial spirit and fluency in multiple languages to begin a career in conference interpreting. Her business has allowed her to travel extensively, and in 1998 she settled in Northern California and established her own interpreting company. Her photography has been a life long passion. Eleonora’s first solo exhibition was in her native Buenos Aires in 2009 and she has exhibited around the globe. Her work has been published by numerous magazines including Fraction and F-Stop.  She is best known for her project, Once Upon a Time, that deals with memory and loss. I am featuring her cell phone project, Fragmentos today.

image from Once Upon a Time

These photos are part of an ongoing personal project about my childhood.

I have been living in California for 13 years and even though I visit Buenos Aires every year, this was the first time that I photographed there.

I have been going through a difficult transitional time, so I decided, on this visit, to go back to my roots and rebuild myself with a camera in hand. 

These images represent my past and symbolize ephemeral moments that developed right before my eyes, just like an old Polaroid photo. From the window of my now empty bedroom in the house where I grew up, to the fish head caught by my departed father, which sits on top of my aunt’s fridge, these photographs document the objects of my past that make up a puzzle I am trying to put together… 

I chose to use my iPhone camera because its small size and ease of use helps me stay in the moment with my surroundings. It also affords me spontaneity and the freedom to express my feelings right in that very moment.