The ‘Spotlight’-articles on Bleaq are probably my favourite: besides showing you work from amazing artists I get to ask them question about their inspiration, work and techniques. That’s why I have another ‘Spotlight’ for you today where I share the work of Dutch photographer Eva van Oosten. A very special artist for me, besides the fact that I love the work of this talented lady I can also call her my best friend since we were 11 <3 I really admire the way her photography skills improved through the years, due to her taking classes, practising a lot and learning photo editing skills. It’s really nice to see that her work is getting more and more known, from being a Flickr-celebrity (haha!) to being featured on WeTranfer last year and seeing one of her pictures on the cover of a book. Needless to day: I’m super proud of my friend! Besides that I think Eva’s aesthetic and Bleaq’s vision have a great match, that’s why I want to share her work with you today. Enjoy!
Bleaq: If you had to describe your work in one sentence, how would you do it?
Eva: I’d like to define my work as a step into a mysterious world where dark dreams tell the viewer a story, with attention to mostly natural light.
Can you tell about how you got into photography? What was your first camera?
Eva: I don’t really remember how I got into photography, as there wasn’t a specific moment for me to start taking pictures. I know I’ve broken a few analogue cameras from my parents before I bought my own. I must have been 18 or 19 years old when I bought my first camera, a Minolta Dimage digital compact camera. With this camera it was possible to arrange the aperture as well. From there on I started experimenting more with the settings of the camera, different images and composing. A few years later I bought my first DSLR camera and things went explosive from that point. With this new camera I had so much more possibilities and I truly loved to experiment with it, and I still do. What really fascinates me in photography is the ability to let the viewer see something through the photographers eyes, be a part of his/her world for a split second. I think this is one of the main reasons why I got serious with photography.
What inspires you?
Eva: I get inspired by a lot of things, but music and film is consistent in what gets me going and lets my thoughts drift away. Considering my love for music I don’t think it’s a coincidence my photography started with taking pictures during concerts for a music website. Besides that my inspirations comes from dreams or events in my life. I also do a lot of urban exploring. Urban exploring is visiting abandoned ruins or buildings and taking pictures of these places. Seeing the beauty of urban decay and nature taking back what is hers is amazing to me. A lot of the places have a tragic story to them, which works the fantasy very well. When visiting these places there’s a lot of stories and visions that come to mind.
Who are your favourite artists? How do they inspire your work?
Eva: This summer I’ve visited Kirsty Mitchells exposition in the Morren Galleries in Amsterdam. I was blown away by the quality of her images and the attention to detail in everyone of them. Her images seem to be from another fairytale like world. In contrast to that I also really love the black and white photography of Stefan Vanfleteren. I really love the way he can capture someone’s soul. Besides these artists I love to look around all areas of art in search for inspiration, specially new talents.
It’s probably like asking parents which of their kids they like best, but do you have a piece or pieces from your work that you like best? If so, why that one?
Eva: Indeed a tough question to answer, but I think it’s got to be these two pictures as they represent a change for me:
I’ve started to do a lot more models and selfies in abandoned settings since then, these two really reflect that change and reflect the style my photography has gone to.
With many social networking websites it’s almost hard to keep track of everything! How important is the internet for you as an artist?
Eva: Social media and the internet are really important to me as a photographer. Although I should get myself out there much more, I think without the internet things would be really different for me. The website Flickr has been really important for my personal growth and for trying to build an audience. I still post a lot of my pictures there. Also, I recently launched an artist page on Facebook which I plan to update on a regular base, together with a new revamped website which I’m really proud of.
Last but not least: van you recommend a book, movie or artist you’ve enjoyed lately?
Eva: A few weeks ago I bought this amazing photo book about a completely abandoned Japanese island Gunkanjima by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre. This island has a truly amazing story with breathtaking images to go along. The latest cool movie I’ve watched must have been Side Effects (2013), excellent story and great camera work. And last but not least, if I may recommend a band… sure give a good listen to Ulver, they are masters and unique in their style.
Got to agree with that, love Ulver! That’s it for today, hoped you enjoyed Eva’s work and insights! Be sure to take a look at her website and like her Facebook page if you want to see more of Eva’s work. Major thanks to Eva for taking time to answer my questions, it’s much appreciated. Thank you all for reading, hope to see you again on Monday!