Shoot Amsterdam is a yearly photographic event held in Amsterdam @ Pakhuis de Zwijger. I will be one of the speakers during the “How do they do it” sessions in the Studio at the 5th floor.
I will be talking about the wet plate collodion process, its place in time, so a little history and a little nowadays, accompanied by some visuals on a screen. Needless to say I’m very excited to be participating in this great event and hope to see you there!
Oh…and Sign up; it’s for free and it’s gonna be fun 🙂
This carefully hidden project finally saw the light of day and now the light of my blog 🙂
21st of June
I received a call. I hardly ever pick up my phone so I had to return the call. Menno picked up when I did, marketing manager at the B32 group. He said he saw my website and was excited about the collodion imagery. He asked me to have a cup of coffee with him as he wanted to talk about an interesting proposal he had in mind. The 27th of that month we sat down in a bar in Maastricht and he began to tell the story of Silvercreek, a clothing brand under the flag of Open32 / Blue32, with 65 shops in the Netherlands.
They are in the process of putting Silvercreek into the market as a stand-alone brand, like Levi’s and G-Star for example, with their dedicated stores. Silvercreek used to be a small mining town in America, now used by artisans who gave it new life after the mines closed. Inspired by this, Silvercreek thought it would be a great idea bring back craftsmanship and let ‘New Artisans’ tell their story.
So the first season they approached a furniture maker with whom they worked together. The second season they worked together with Evelien van Zonneveld from Werfzeep, who they visually followed in her process of soap-making, wearing clothes by Silvercreek. They also worked together with Frank Abbenhuis from Witloft, who they also followed in his process of apron-making.
In short “New Artisans” are asked to tell their story in front of the camera while wearing Silvercreak clothing. But also to create something in collaboration with Silvercreek. Evelien designed a special soap together with Silvercreek to be sold in their stores. Frank designed a special apron for them.
Back to the coffee… “So…,Menno continued his story, this brings us to the point why I am here. Would you be interested in being our next “New Artisan” for the FallWinter collection of 2016?”
Wow… I remembered him asking if I wanted to sleep a night over it before answering. No need for that, I replied. Of course I want to do this! He had a thing for black-and-white photography and the craftsmanship involved in making the wet plate collodion imagery. The mood in the collodion images fitted their look-book perfectly so I immediately felt a click with their approach. The only thing was that they were in a bit of a hurry as the new collection would hit stores in September. If I were able to plan a date soon where he would get the entire team together to shoot the event… The rest is history 😉
14th of July
9 0’clock in the morning, the bell rang. The make-up artist, Judith Pronk, arrived. It took the rest about half an hour more to gather. The rest of the team was made up by: Renee Ferron (stylist), Gijs Spierings (photographer), Sherman Emers (videographer) and of course Menno himself. At first hair & make-up, then clothing. I will let the images speak for themselves, but it was a great day. Lots of laughing, laughing until the tears rolled down my cheeks. Let’s say Judith had some work that day 😉 We shot images while me playing around with some of my cameras, some posed, some not so much. But the most cool part was that I was going to shoot a wet plate, and that they could follow the entire process of making them.
Explaining the process from start to finish took up a lot of time, including cleaning and everything. We first decided to do a portrait of me, the camera handled by Erik (focusing and exposing), while the chemistry and handling of the plate remained with me. We then planned to do a shot of the new jeans in their collection to make the circle round but time simply went too fast. When the clock hit 8 in the evening we all said goodbye and a truly wonderful day came to an end. To be continued.
We all kept in touch, I received all images from the shoot (wow), and Menno and I talked about the jeans some more. We both liked the idea to do an actual proper wet plate exposure of both new jeans models, copper for men, and amber for the ladies. So, it happened. On the 24th of August Menno arrived in my studio again, to shoot the jeans. Fantastic! Fabric looks so dead-gorgeous on wet plate! Everyone was happy. The images are going to be used as the campaign shots for these jeans, which is fantastic! They will be shown in a lot of places, even in bus shelters (sorry for all the exclamation marks haha)!
On top of that shoot, he had another proposal for me; As I was now the female “New Artisan” using old photographic techniques, they figured it would be awesome to put Gijs opposite of me as the male “New Artisan” using modern photographic techniques. And that it would be cool if I were to shoot Gijs for these series. WowWowWow! Never expected that to happen! So, I had to shoot a part digitally, funny as I ended up using a Canon EOS 5ds (I don’t like working with Canon AT ALL, but it was okay ;-)) But I was also asked to shoot a wet plate of Gijs, one with one of his cars, and one portrait just like mine.
Images of my shoot:
26th of August
I took of to Veghel where we planned the shoot at the “Koekbouw”, an awesome industrial spot there. The even more cool thing about this shoot was that Gijs normally photographs cars, Mercedes for example. And I just happen to love cars so it all came together! He arranged two cars for this shoot and I would follow him while photographing these. One was a Ferrari 348TS, and the other an old Mustang from 1965, both in impeccable condition. Both awesome as hell! Once again a great day! For collodion however, it was quite hard; temperature that day was 31 degrees. Still issues with my fixing bath giving spots, as became clear after the shoot; rinsing capabilities were limited and no KCN anymore for me. So, not a perfect shoot wet plate-wise but awesome nonetheless!
Apart from the story of Gijs and me, there were two more artisans asked for this edition: a couple working together as blacksmiths under the name of Atelier 79. They designed and produced a special coin for Silvercreek which will be in the pockets of the new male jeans when you buy one. This refers to the coin in mine-workers’ jeans to identify the deceased. And a cool necklace for the ladies in the shape of a paroquet, which were used in the mines to warn for gas leaks. Great people to have met and I’m looking forward seeing their atelier in person!
Images of Gijs, shot by me and edited by Gijs, the man himself
12th of September
The big national presentation of the FallWinter Collection 2016 🙂 Everyone, every employee in their stores, all who helped, all who modeled, got invited to join the presentation party which was held at the Koekbouw in Veghel. Of course we went too, and it was fantastic beyond words. Menno told me a little of what was going to happen but he kept the best part silent. We got there at around 7 in the evening. Got something to eat and drink, and watched all people walk in Silvercreek clothing, which was a pretty surreal sight on its own.
The jeans on wet plate collodion, 8×10″:
An official opening speech, live music, and a place where all new collections of all brands they represent at Open32, were shown. At a little over 10 we got to the special event that was announced earlier on that evening. It’s where they were to introduce their new jeans line in a spectacular kind of way. We were invited by Menno for a little sneak-preview before that moment. Luckily. Because what I saw when we entered that space…it was quite moving. This space is huge, about 100 metres in length, and impressive on its own. It was the same space we used for the shoot a few weeks back. To dress it up properly is quite the challenge. They succeeded. Big time. The space was entirely empty except for 4 HUGE drapes hanging from the ceiling behind each other in the middle of the space. Each drape spanned 5 by 3 metres… and contained my wet plate images! The first was the portrait of myself, the second the amber version of the jeans, the third the portrait of Gijs and the fourth the copper version of the jeans. I was stunned and overwhelmed. I never expected anything like this.
After that private sneak-preview everyone was invited into the hall, and the jeans were presented in a different coolish manner-style. Menno bought an SRV-wagon about a year ago and completely revitalised it, turning it into an actual driving Silvercreek selling point, which contained all the new jeans. Everybody received a special coin upon arriving that evening and with that coin, it became clear that it was to be used as a voucher for a free pair of new jeans for everyone! Cool huh! Everybody jumped the wagon of course 😉
The evening ended with some lovely dancing on beats and strings from the band. And with that this story also comes to an end. For now that is. This story is anything but over so….to be continued 🙂
Above images of the presentation courtesy of Erik Slangen.
Check this link over here —> sc-fw-2016-magazine-3108_lres_spreads for the original pdf of the new Silvercreek Magazine and knock yourself out!
Credits: All images where I am on, unless stated otherwise, copyright by Gijs Spierings Photography.
(Sorry, Dutch text today)
11:30 uur Ontvangst van de gasten
12:00 uur Presentatie ‘Maastrichtse Drukkers’
Dutch Alternative Photography Meeting & Artist Talk: Jeroen de Wijs over Collodiumprocedés
Zondag 19 april 2015
13.00 tot 16.30 uur (de lezing begint rond 14 uur)
‘t Oude Pothuys
3511 PA Utrecht
030 231 8970
10 minuten loopafstand van het CS en van een gratis parkeer omgeving (Heling). Zie: http://tinyurl.com/o32qodq
‘Toeval, traagheid, ambachtelijkheid’. Jeroen de Wijs (Boerdonk, 1975) weet precies wat hem aanspreekt in collodium-procedés. Tijdens de eerste bijeenkomst van Dutch Alternative Photography zal hij enthousiast vertellen over de liefde voor zijn vak. Hij heeft genoeg te melden. Niet voor niets experimenteert hij al jaren met 19e eeuwse collodium-technieken. Toch is Jeroen geen stoffige laborant. Als kunstenaar wil hij vroege fotografische processen graag zelf in de vingers krijgen zodat hij ze kan aanwenden voor zijn eigen werk: ‘Het is niet zo dat ik het oude wil reproduceren. Ik zoek juist naar moderne beeld- en presentatievormen’.
Dutch Alternative Photography is een platform voor alternatieve fotografie technieken in Nederland en Vlaanderen geïnitieerd in 2012 door An Zuriel. Het doel van dit platform is het overdragen van alternatieve fotografie kennis aan geïnteresseerden en het voor iedereen toegankelijk maken van het fenomeen alternatieve fotografie. Naast het online platform, wil Dutch Alternative Photography een podium geven voor netwerken en uitwisseling van kennis. Aan dit initiatief werken: Indra Moonen, Jeroen de Wijs, Herman Maes en An Zuriel.
A while back I got invited to be a speaker on the TEDxUHasselt and talk about my Disposable Project. I found it an honour and a great way to work on my public speaking so I said yes. However, due to circumstances that happened the last few months, health wise, family-matter wise, the move, busy period at work due to less colleagues etc. I slowly got the feeling I bit off more than I could chew. It’s not in my nature to cancel things or say no to things but the feeling got stronger and due to all that happened I wasn’t able to put all the effort in prepping this talk than I wanted but also needed to. After a lot of deliberating I finally decided to withdraw so they had the time to look for someone else. It was a hard thing to do but I felt really relieved afterwards. Sometimes you just have to take a few steps back and regain your wits.
Once I informed them of my decision they mentioned that there would be a possibility for me to give a demo / lecture on the wet plate collodion process, if I wanted to. Well, why not! Great way to still be there and contribute in a field I am familiar with , so no huge preparation needed besides the obvious material prepping. I am very happy I did it the way I did, it was a wonderful day, met great people, heard very interesting stories, shared some cool-photography things and just had fun! Also one of the first gigs I did on my own, without Bart, as he had to work. It was a long day but a fruitful one 🙂 The talks were great, some talks were fantastic and inspiring. Some of the speakers:
Charles Spence (UK), the head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University and talked about Pleasure and Pain.
Peter Perceval (BE), a Belgian writer, director and producer. He revealed why the world needs funny people for innovation, based on recent developments in neuroscience.
Thomas Spaas (BE), not only a lawyer specialising in Belgian and International taxation, he is also co-director of the Belgian Bitcoin Association. He focused on the regulatory aspects of Bitcoin in general and on providing legal support to the association and its members.
Yves Tieleman (BE), a Project Manager at Group Machiels, leading the research, development and demonstration of the Enhanced Landfill Mining concept and the Closing the Circle project.
These were the speakers that stood out to me but I missed the last round of speakers due to having to finish varnishing the plates. There were more speakers from the UK, India and the United States.
Special thanks go out to Maxim Renaerts and Wouter Vanoppré for making it happen for me. And another special thanks goes out to the man from the kitchen staff who, on the end of the day, surprised me by loading all of my gear on a 3-story high-carrying wagon so I didn’t have to drag everything piece by piece back to my car. You made my day! If you want to know more about the speakers that day etc. have a look at their website.
Last year, during the Kunsttour in Maastricht, I have been invited to join the Aachener Kunstroute which will be held this weekend (28-29 September, each day from 11 until 19 hr). My work is situated at Burg Frankenberg in Aachen. As they are currently renovating the building there’s only room for only one of my works, a nice one me thinks, and I will be present during both days so if you want to meet up..feel free to hop in!
Website Aachener Kunstroute
Maybe see you then 🙂
Yesterday was the day I was preparing for earlier; the wet plate collodion demo @ Art.Room which is currently showing my work. Show runs until the 2nd of October in case you want to give it a look 🙂 It was a great day, met some new people and some of my loved friends. My first ‘model’ of the day was Dr. Christoph Wahl, who not only looks great on collodion, but was also so nice to share some of the images he made that day of the demo and even scanned the wet plate I made of him so all the courtesy goes towards him!
And last but not least…Mr. Wahl himself:
Something funky did happen with the varnish however, seeing that where I poured it first it forms a darker image that towards the outer edges. Not sure where that comes from. Perhaps some alcohol evaporated from the varnish and I should add a little to it…Next time!
You are hereby cordially invited to the opening of a group exhibition in Roermond of which I’ll be a part. The works displayed have never been shown before ‘in the real world’ and are all from 2013. And that’s it! I’m not gonna say anything further 😉 Oh, worth mentioning is that I will be giving a wet plate collodion demonstration on Sunday the 22nd of September, 14u, same place!
September 1st, from 13u -16u30
Exhibition runs from:
September 1st until October 2nd
Tuesdays & Sundays from 13-16:30u
Wet Plate Collodion Demo:
September 22nd, from around 14u
Place to be:
I’m currently painting the frames and prepping the images for mounting. There will be some lith prints and some original-one-of-a-kind wet plate collodion glass plates on display. Should all be finished this week.
I would also like to apologise for being so absent the past few weeks. I’m working on a lot of things, the disposable project for example. Currently working on the design of the book with the help of a graphical designer, Miguel Essers from IO_COMMUNICATIE. The past few weeks have also been busy at work, holidays and the like. Making collodion images turned out to be really difficult with having so little time on my hands. And I’ve also found a new sort of passion which has very little to do with art: racing on my newly acquired Jan Janssen bike! I’ve been an avid spinner for the past one and a half year which got me so hooked on cycling I just had to get on the road. So with the help of my birthday I was able to get a really pretty racing bike which took up a bit of my attention lately as well. Photography, no worries, but I can have this really obsessive attention span where I only want to focus on one thing and one thing only (a friend of mine called me a mono-maniac the other day 😉 ) so it will all have to settle again I guess.
Yeah, come on…you also can’t deny its prettiness right ?! Haha! Well, that was it for today! I’ll be off working on the exhibition and riding my bike today and I hope to see you all at the opening of my exhibition or at the collodion demo September 22nd! -X-
It has come to pass, Kunsttour 2013. It has been a fun three days. Also the opening was a lot of fun! As always a short compilation of the place where I exhibited, this year Avenue Céramique 191, one of the main buildings of the Kunsttour. I met a lot of nice people, new ones, and those that already follow my work for quite some time now. They made for interesting stories and inspiration to keep doing what I love most; photography. Thank you!
Some crazy bunnies and a Mickey Mouse / Dart Vader from Johan Bruninx (he belongs to a group called Vonk VZW and exhibited as part of this group).
Veronique Alberghs had some nice paintings on the wall. I liked them. Also part of the group Vonk VZW.
Also part of the Vonk group was Jan de Lauré with a nice drawing (and painting?).
MAAK had a lovely table and lamp to show. Too bad they weren’t around during those three days (as weren’t most of the Vonk group though).
Imke van den Berg stood next to me with different techniques among which were collography and etching. Interesting work, one I liked very much!
On the opposite side of me hung the work of Lily Scheffer, a combination of photography and manipulation afterwards, which resulted in some colourful new worlds.
Next to Lily were a couple of works by Alexandra Knie who works with a combination of painting, graphics and textile.
On the other side of the space were large paintings by Marcel Willems. That work is what I like!
John Bijnens, also part of Vonk, presented his work (one piece?) at the other side of Alexandra Knie. I liked this piece although I would have liked it better in another presentation style.
In the middle of the room there were a couple of blocks laying flat on the ground, providing space to Wilma Schipholt and Herma van den Heuvel.
Wilma makes small statues of ceramique, really funny and imaginative. Herma makes lovely pieces of glass.
Niels Savelkouls was there again with his sort of maquette with all sorts of stuff going on.
And of course, I was there too 😉 I exhibited my “Devolution” series based on Mondrian’s “Evolution” as that was chosen by the Kunsttour Committee. Received some good comments on this work which hasn’t gotten out much before, just once. Not a humorous piece but nonetheless 😉 Two days before the opening I received an email if I had some more work to put on the other side as one person cancelled. No problemo! I was quite happy to be able to show more work, some genuine plates.
The three days flew by like mad. It went really fast. Had some good conversations at the table where we could sit during the day and drank some nice wine. Nothing bad there 😉 Didn’t sell any work unfortunately but I did get invited to join the art route Roerdalen organised by Kunststroom next year (2014) so that’s awesome! They house their exhibitions in monumental buildings so that makes for a great setting to present ones work. Looking forward!
Hopefully see you next year (sooner would be nice too)!
So…not this weekend but the next Kunsttour 2013 will be held again and I will be part of it, again! The theme of this year is: Is there something to laugh (at/about whatever) in art. The poster is laughable to say the least… The Kunsttour Committee has actually made a selection of the artist’s works they wanted to be part of this year’s Kunsttour that they felt represented the theme best. The works chosen of me were as much as a surprise to me as it will be for you, although I like the work they picked.. I like especially their reasoning behind it for picking that specific body of work.
Feel free to come and have a look, the locations are great! The Wiebengahal, next to the Bonnenfantenmuseum, is the main location this year. I’m located at the other side of the street at Maison Ceramique. I will be there all three days.
For more information check the website.