“I was having a stroll on the market and was struck by the sight of a beautiful pomegranate on a stall. Because of the shape, colour and skin of the fruit, and the special way it was lit in that moment, I suddenly understood the desire of the old masters to paint such subject in still life.
I myself also wanted to document this beautiful image. I bought the pomegranate and, inspired by the old masters, started my search for the essence of this fruit, the only difference being that I used photography.”
Ever since her art school days, Saskia Boelsums had been fascinated by the many possibilities and results that photography could create. Over the past few years, Saskia has spent more time working with this medium. [Official website]
Saskia Boelsums has experienced many different cultures from a young age. Her father worked for KLM and the family travelled frequently. They lived for many years in Iran and Curacao in the Caribbean. As a result of living in these different cultures, Saskia started early on to develop an objective view and discovered a universally artistic language.
Saskia did her Art studies at the Minerva Academy in Groningen, Netherlands. This course was a dream come true for her, and during her years of study, she made the most of all the knowledge and techniques that were on offer. From welding and etching to installations and sculpture.
In the beginning of her career, Saskia mainly made installations, often in collaboration with Peter Veen. Together they created, using many indoor and outdoor locations; short films, useless machines, reconstructions of autumn, swimming sheep, sinking ships and even a 365 days panorama view photo series to those who had subscribed.
As it comes to photography Saskia is very enthusiastic in all of her expressions but also very meticulous. She endeavours to control all the aspects of photography in great detail so she can have as much control as possible over the light, posture and expression of the model and composition. This includes the quality of paper. The sheen, print technique and further finishing touches contribute to the final result of the image.
Often Saskia works themes in a series because this allows her to deeply investigate the subject and experiment with it. Examples of some series’ are:
– Still life photos inspired by still life painters from Holland and Flanders, in the 17th century.
– Portraits with light and props (with Peter Veen as the model).
– Heaven and Earth, inspired by Vanitas still life, from the 17th century.
Nominations and prizes
Saskia Boelsum has received many nominations and prizes.
One being in the top ten finalists of the 2014 EyeEm-awards/the Portraitist. The photos were exhibited at the EyeEm-festival in Berlin.
She also won the Artist Collecting Society Price 2014, part of the Young Masters Art Price in London.
The jury’s chairman Mr Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary & Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts praised Saskia at the award ceremony on: “her ability to combine skill and innovation with an awareness of art history.” He called her work: “delicate and intense.”
Saskia’s portfolio was selected by editorial office of GUP magazine for publication in the yearbook of “New Dutch Photography Talent 2015.”
The reviewer Louis Boshoff says about her work: “… she is entirely comfortable in the half light; a technique which the Dutch have excelled in for ages. Boelsums’ work brings about a stylistic atmosphere that is curious, inquisitive and searching, forever searching. It is specifically this dimmed atmosphere that beckons the viewer to look closer.”
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