We recently talked to Netherlands-based photographer Lonneke Van Der Palen about her unique style and approach to photography.
What project best represents your photography?
“I’d say that my series Souvenir: memories of a journey never made is the best example. This project was informed by a very personal point of view, and while working on it I didn’t have to conform to anyone else’s opinions. The iconic approach, to both people and objects within the series often poses as an example for me when I work on new projects. You could say that all my work can be linked in one way or another, to Souvenir.”
Your style is really cohesive, how do you manage to keep a personal and recognizable vision also in commissioned works?
“I think that the creative process of an artist is connected to personal tastes and a personal vision. I feel this should always be reflected in one’s work. That way, no matter how different one commissioned series is from another, you will always be able to recognize a certain personal edge to everything one makes.
“In my case this is strongly dependent on certain choices I make. I feel like I have found a way to approach objects that is very much my own. I also have a very particular way of working with colors and light within my projects. That personal edge is what clients are looking for when they enlist me.”
I like that Souvenir feels like I’m looking at a place that isn’t anywhere. Tell me more about the project.
“The series is the result of a staged journey inspired by the ultimate clichés among travel photography. The posing in stunning landscapes, sunsets, wildlife, exotic food, the indigenous population: they almost become icons.
“By recreating these images, photography enables me to visit distant worlds and gather souvenirs of a journey that has never been made. Why buy expensive flight tickets, when I can accomplish the same with my imagination? Using a camera, I don’t have to leave my house to experiences life’s visual marvels.”