As a photographer is my work shaped by the place where I grew up, a place between the city and the Dutch countryside. Even though I learned to understand both sides, neither of the places make me feel completely at home. There is a big gap between the pace of time and values of people in these different areas, and are almost opposite to each other.
This polarisation often leads to contradictions in perception which I question in my work. For instance, the oblivion of age-old crafts, slow process on local produce in a fast paced world, valuing quality instead of mass production. While this origin lays closer to home than people assume. I visualise truthful stories with emphasis on what matters; a sustainable process while researching and exploring my opinionated voice in this. The stories have a clean, colourful and cinematographic atmosphere, where nature and the modern world meet.
Its function slowly disappears at the end of the consumption chain. It starts to shine and evolves by the light and it’s brought to life by the wind. It leaves people blinded when we, as a society, start to recognise how this intangible life begins.
The plastic bag could easily be regarded as the epitome of the throw-away consumerism culture we live in today. It is an unsustainable, irresponsible and damaging element in our lives. Yet it is hard to imagine a Dutch landscape without a rogue plastic bag floating through it. They end up everywhere, on the land and in the seas with an irreversible impact. Humankind has been mass producing foundlings for mother earth to take care of. Since my early days as a photographer I wanted to capture haute couture and craftsmanship. Slow paced high end disciplines that produce sustainable and timeless items. This project is a reaction to this field of interest, because what happens if I treat a plastic bag the same way I would treat a sustainable handmade variant?
The most timeless product to mother earth herself, is a period piece in retrospect of how society deals with products like these. By showing the guilt but also the mesmerising beauty of how we deal with this unsustainable product we can’t get rid of.
To the surprise of my 90-year-old grandmother Toos, who never leaves the city, plastic shopping bags are nowhere to be found in stores anymore. For years, Toos has visited the Action shop every week to get plastic bags, such as garbage bags, laundry bags or gift bags. “Where am I going to get those plastic bags?”
Instead of looking for a sustainable replacement, grandma wanted her handy multifunctional plastic bags back. However, the trend of the plastic bags 1 is forever gone and has been replaced by the use of sustainable linen bags. Nowadays it’s all about sustainability, a trend that many companies want to benefit from and a term there’s no escape from these days. It is used everywhere: on products, companies or services, online and offline. But what exactly does sustainability mean?