As promised last year, we have the chance to showcase the talents of photographer Liselotte whose work I have known and admired for some time. I will let her introduce herself:
I’m Liselotte, Dutch and am 29 years old. I moved to Utrecht when I was 19 to start my student life. But in the end, I did not attend the University of Utrecht for long and finished my Bachelors in European Studies in Amsterdam and my Masters in European Studies in Enschede and Münster in Germany. I continued to live in Utrecht though as I simply was not ready to leave this city yet. Eventually after 7 years, I did feel like starting a new chapter of my life and moved to Finland for half a year and I am currently living in Brussels.
Did you study Photography or are you self-taught?
Photography has been a part of me for most of my life. As a kid I usually borrowed my parents’ camera to take pictures on holidays or they let me use one of their older cameras so I could do my own thing. I bought my first digital camera when I was around 15 years old and started taking pictures with a DSLR around 6 years ago.
Despite always wanting to go to an art academy to study photography or design when I was younger, ultimately, I decided to study something completely different. So this makes me a self-taught photographer.
Do you have heroes or is your work unique?
I don’t think my work is necessarily unique, but that’s also not too important for me. As long as I like my pictures and feel good shooting them, that is my primary focus. But, of course, it’s always awesome when others also like my work. Photographers I look up to are those who are able to make a living out of travelling around the world by photographing all the beautiful places and cultures they come across.
What inspires your work?
What inspires me most is nature, it’s beauty, intensity and the fact that nature is so dynamic, it’s different at any moment of the day. Something else what sparks my creativity is great light, preferably natural lightning, and wonderful shadows. Finally, I also love to simply stroll around cities and take in the energy of the city.
Is Utrecht a particularly artistic city? Is there somewhere special you like to photograph in Utrecht?
In my opinion Utrecht is indeed a very artistic city. In general I prefer the vibe in older city centres compared to modern places, even though modern architecture does have its wonderful features as well. Utrecht has great historic squares, alleys, canals and of course the Dom church and tower which make it an exceptional and charming city. Those historic places in Utrecht are then also the areas I prefer to take pictures of. But on the other hand, I also enjoyed capturing many gorgeous sunsets from my studio at the Uithof. Another advantage from living on the outskirts of the city was that nature was close by. So I spent many hours photographing around “Rhijnauwen”.
What piece of work are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my picture of a snowy Utrecht with a view of the Dom tower which is on the cover of your “Utrecht Snow” novel.
I have to say, I love this as well!
Does Utrecht inspire you as a person, not as an artist though it must be hard to separate the two?
This question is not easy to answer without sounding cheesy by saying that the person is the artist. In my view, Utrecht inspires me in general, so this is as a person and artist. Because of this I still like to come back to Utrecht occasionally, to visit friends and to simply walk around the city and of course photograph anything that attracts my attention.
Where is your favourite place in Utrecht?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite place or location in Utrecht, but if I have to pick one, I would go for the “Pandhof”, the monastery garden next to the Dom church. I think it’s a great place to wind down. if it’s not too crowded, in this somewhat hidden place in the middle of the city.
Does Utrecht do enough for creative arts?
As I moved away early 2017, I unfortunately cannot really answer these questions. Broadly speaking I think Utrecht is doing quite a bit for the creative sector, there are many festivals, activities and several art centres.
Who should take the lead, Municipality, Artists, Schools, Universities?
Generally, I think municipalities should first provide opportunities and room for artists to develop themselves and for schools to set up innovative and creative courses.