Gezellig – 2016

AS Study

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

HE Dining Room

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

TG Kitchen

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AVDK Kitchen

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

OV Lounge

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AVDS Spare Room

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

TG Dining Room

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AVDS Bedroom

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

YDR Laundry

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

HG Spare Bedrookm

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AS Sunroom

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

YDR Bedroom

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AS Conservatory

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

AVDS Lounge

Gezellig series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

 


Images can tell a story: they can become part of a narrative, saying things that can’t be put into words. The photographs in Ons Erfgoed investigate an alternative method to portraiture – they provide a portrait of Dutch New Zealanders not by photographing the people themselves, but by focusing on their homes and the objects they collect and display. The setting in which the photographs have been taken and the objects that make up the room are significant: objects are often placed around the home as symbolic reminders of people, places, and significant events — a kind of showcasing of the things that are important to the owner. Jean Baudrillard, in his book The System of Objects (1968), explains, “what gives the houses of our childhood such depth and resonance in memory is clearly this complex structure of interiority, and the objects within it serve for us as boundary markers of the symbolic configuration known as home.”

As people age, the objects that they hold onto age alongside them, and so, through various events, interactions and changes, both the person and their possessions continuously transform. Objects are often used to construct and preserve the meanings of people’s lives. Cultural values and ideas become materialised within objects and, usually unintentionally, people provide vital clues as to who they are and what they believe throughout their home. The photographs in Ons Erfgoed aim to echo something of the subjects’ Dutch heritage by using light in a similar way to 17th Century Dutch painters like Rembrandt or Vermeer. The scenes are of everyday life – bedrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms – and because of the types of objects that fill these rooms, it can be said that culture has been translated into an interior. The photographs often expose a kind of longing, or an aching pathos for another place: the Netherlands.

The photographs are taken with an analog medium format camera – a Bronica ETRSi. Compared to digital, film has more of an honest and hands-on way of working, which is important for the subjects that are explored within the project. It encourages a slower way of looking at and seeing the world, and things that are often overlooked in everyday life can be noticed and recognised for their importance.


 

Portraits – 2016

Anne

Portrait series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

Tonnie

Portrait series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

Henk

Portrait series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

Henk and Anna

Portrait series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

Wilma

Portrait series from Ons Erfgoed/My Heritage, medium format film photography, 2016

 


Images can tell a story: they can become part of a narrative, saying things that can’t be put into words.

The photographs in Ons Erfgoed aim to echo something of the subjects’ Dutch heritage by using light in a similar way to 17th Century Dutch painters like Rembrandt or Vermeer. The scenes are of everyday life – bedrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms – and because of the types of objects that fill these rooms, it can be said that culture has been translated into an interior. The photographs often expose a kind of longing, or an aching pathos for another place: the Netherlands.

The photographs are taken with an analog medium format camera – a Bronica ETRSi. Compared to digital, film has more of an honest and hands-on way of working, which is important for the subjects that are explored within the project. It encourages a slower way of looking at and seeing the world, and things that are often overlooked in everyday life can be noticed and recognised for their importance.


 

Family – 2014

Waking up

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Petting Dog

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

C watching

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Eating

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Laundry

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Earings

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

C Bedroom

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Tony

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Yolanda

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Television

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Bedroom

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Serving

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Anne in Kitchen

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

Anne and Adrian

Family series from Ons Erfgoed/Our Heritage, medium format film photography, 2014

 


This series explores the homes and lives of three different generations of a migrant Dutch family – the initial immigrants themselves, the first generation New Zealanders, and the second generation New Zealanders.

It is an investigation of the Dutch cultural assimilation within New Zealand, but also highlights the desire within different generations to reconnect with their “Dutchness”. Each household is photographed under an anthropological gaze, focusing on the common patterns and rituals that emerge in the way people go about their everyday life. The photographs have been taken in the subjects’ own homes. This approach comes from the belief that the environment a person lives in shapes their character and values, and the type of things they fill their homes with can reveal important things about them.


 

Sleeping – 2013

Tony

Sleeping series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Dustin

Sleeping series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Yolanda

Sleeping series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Adrian

Sleeping series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Living – 2013

Window

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Light

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Tea

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Empty

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Cooking

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Dustin

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Guitar Amp

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Steam

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Plates

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Chinese Tea

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Bedroom

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

Stack

Living series from Ethnographies of the Everyday, medium format film photography, 2013

 


Ethnography is the product of Anthropology and Sociology. It is the material representation of a culture and can take on many different forms, such as the written word, film, or photography. Ethnographies of the Everyday is a photographic project that involves looking into people’s daily life and activities. It is about providing an insight into and a sense of understanding for how people live their lives and why, what makes them who they are, and it highlights how different people repeat similar patterns of behaviour in their day-to-day activities.

This project has been produced with an anthropological methodology in mind by observing and photographing the specificities of everyday life. This includes examining the way people behave around and relate to each other, the kinds of things they do, the type of clothes they wear, the objects they surround themselves with, and the setting in which they live. Photographs can record not only physical details of people but also, for that moment of time, a person’s exact facial expressions and body language; this can reveal to the viewer how a person might feel, their mannerisms or personality, and how they interact socially and feel about others. This photographic investigation focuses on the common patterns and rituals that emerge in the way people go about their everyday life.

The artist has taken care to photograph things as they actually happen, to ensure that some kind of truth can be revealed. These photographs show things as they are; the people in the photographs are actually sleeping, eating and interacting with one another – they are not acting out a scene and have not been influenced by the photographer. This provides the work with an anthropological integrity.