Interview with Greet van Dam
Graduated in 2021 from the 3-year study Photographic Design at the Dutch Academy of Image Creation in Rotterdam. After a long career in care as a counselor for young people with a disability, she decided –after a difficult period– to change course and opt completely for photography.
The work of Greet, is characterized by an extra layering (literally and figuratively) in which she is also looking for a different way of presenting. Her often personal (family) themes can be interpreted by others in their own way.
How did you become interested in photography? How did you start?
I became interested in photography in the analog era in the late 80’s. I took a number of courses and that was it. Only 4 years ago did I dare to follow a course at the age of 55.That became the 3-year Photographic Design course in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Last year I graduated I have learned to use my photography as a visual translation of my inner world. Recurring themes are transience, lack and desire.
Could you tell more about your creating process? Do you shoot on analog or digital format? Color or bnw? Why?
I shoot digitally with a Canon 70 D and recently the Canon 5 Mark VI. Both color and black and white. I use daylight as a light source and sometimes use a tripod.
I am a viewer, observer and retailer and avoid people in my images ;) I rarely make portraits.
Do you want to share something about the submitted body of work?
The images I submit are part of my graduation project ‘Good enough’ (a very personal project) where I make a photographic reflection, how I related to my mother, What it’s like to be born after the death of a previous child. How a mother can emotionally occupy a child and what has been the influence on why I am there and how I was raised. And through which I have developed certain coping mechanisms and fear of failure.
‘Good enough’ It’s about a disturbed attachment, about attraction and repulsion, lack and desire…It has resulted in a book with manual edits. The (added) elements in the photographs have a symbolic meaning in several cases.
How do you get inspiration? Do you have any artists or photographers that inspired you?
I find my inspiration on Instagram, exhibitions, webinars and photo books. I admire photographers like Sally Mann, Alec Soth for their purity and what they convey. Robin Cracknell , Carolle Bénitah, Valentin Sidorenko, and many others for their mixed media/collage work on the theme of family and descent.
What are you working right now? Where are you going with your work?
At the moment I am working with old found photos as a continuation of the previous more personal projects. I use that ‘lost identity’ to apply my own interpretation. By adding elements, I try to create an extra layer or other meaning.
I have recently become part of a collective of photographers, who publish photo books in-house; the ‘Self Publishers United’. It stimulates me to mainly focus on making beautiful photo books and hope to exhibit regularly.
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