Big project | Upcoming Solo exhibition | Leiden
This year I have been asked by MBO Rijnland and Plymouth City College/ University to create content for an exhibition in Leiden and maybe even Plymouth. The exhibition will be an event for the pilgrim year in Leiden and Plymouth.
Let me tell you a bit about this special year! In 2020 it will be 200 years ago that the pilgrims from Plymouth have left on the Mayflower to travel to America and become the founding fathers as we know them now. What many people don’t know is that many of these pilgrims have lived in Leiden before travelling to America. The pilgrims from Plymouth were refugees who fled to Leiden to be free in their Calvinist religion. Leiden was and still is a very democratic city with an open heart for refugees.
This event in history was the subject I had to work with in order to create my exhibition. What the outcome is, remains a secret for now. But what I can tell you is the concept and of course, I can show you some of the behind the scenes of the first shoot that took place.
My exhibition will be about “Modern-day pilgrims” so to speak. A modern-day pilgrim is a person in Leiden or Plymouth who lives his or her own freedom as it is possible in the democracy we are living in today. Even though many people fled to Leiden in the 16th and 17th century because of this democracy, a lot has changed. A young woman is now able to travel around the world on her own, a change of gender was not an option back then let alone walk down the streets with vibrantly coloured hair and piercings and tattoos everywhere. I have collected the story’s of many “Modern-day pilgrims” and found out that freedom is a very complex subject. I know that in my search for freedom I have found a lot of information, but no answers, and that is perfect! I will not take any portraits that will make the pilgrims something different than who they are. I want them to tell their raw, pure and unpolished stories about their freedom, good or bad.
In my exhibition, I hope their stories and portraits lets you get to know these people, and create your own search for freedom, hopefully with no absolute answer.
The first shots have been taken and many more will follow.
And as you can see in the video, making the shots was quite enjoyable!