Medium:Archival Signed Edition Photograph
Size (h x w):41cm x 56cm
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The Bridge - Edam Holland
Edam in Northern Holland is formed alongside its network of canals,
as sequences of old dutch facades sit like precious models, tightly
running in line between the bridges. Avenues of Utrillo trees make
a feathered screen through which tiny leaded windows look out on
intimate spaces, painted shutters, minute, perfectly bonded bricks
and the sparkle of water.
An exploration of passages and back-lanes reveal secret gardens
and an ancient boat yard, then a magical view of the place where
two canals meet to make an open expanse of water. It is not
hard to place yourself back in time, wealding a goose quill dipped
in bistre ink to depict such scenes in the heart of the 1500's.
Follow the canal from the old museum to the corner-shop then over
the bridge. It is from the centre of this bridge looking back down
towards the centre of the town, that this photograph was taken.
This central position allows you to float in space as if hovering above
the water. The bridge itself is allowed to sit an isolated motif, arching
in all its serine splendour. The position of the light is essential as it
floods part of the bridge to describe the surface, while making a space
beyond, the light also plays dramatically on the forground water.
I am haunted by the shadowed boats that merge with the under-belly
of the structure, resonating in the dark water. Bergman films made the
simple statement great using meticulously aligned compositions that
dissolve any consciousness that the shot is arranged. The presence of
the bridge speaks for itself as you enter into this intimate place of great
peace. Although this is but a fragment from an extensive and rich
environment, it holds together, as an isolated part of a monumental
structure. For me it makes an emotional presence that evoques the
place that exists outside the image.
The light is an essential part of Holland, it falls upon wide expanses of
land yet that same light becomes intimate as it irradiates the old glass
of windows, the plaster walls, soft carpets and the wind-rippled surfaces
Great image makers compel me to see the unique essence of their region,
the life and times they experienced. I find myself searching for those
qualities to see if they have survived in 21st century Holland.
This for me, is part of a time-layering process that values history in all
its forms. I do not see a thin veneer of the present devoid of the past,
it is more a process of reassessing both the past and the present as it
exists in the environment now.
'The scholar in his study' by Rembrandt, a painting that has
made a deep impression from early childhood.
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