Breda, The Netherlands
~ by Barbara van den Bogaard
I speak to Trijntje and Wiesje, daughter and mother, in a coffeebar in Breda, The Netherlands, on a Saturday morning in February. They both just recovered from COVID and are out of their house for the first time in over a week. The world is a little overwhelming. We drink tea, all a different blend.
We first talk about life. Wiesje teaches at the arts academy in Tilburg and Trijntje found her passion in theatre school. When we come to talk about Storybook and their art and photography project NEST, we soon exchange on a deep level of mutual understanding.
I came across the project NEST quite some time ago. The images fascinated me back then and they do every time I see them. Also the cooperation in this project between a mother and her daughter. Between a photographer and her figurant fascinate me. It touches me deeply how these roles seem to switch so naturally. When I ask about the project and its’ meaning to them they both say that it is important for them to play together. And this is exactly what strikes me in the work. It is playful.
I feel confronted with the feeling how sometimes I forget to play. How lightness and playfulness so easily fades in days of obligation.
So I continue to ask for the details of their play. Trijntje says: “There is this moment in time where one of us says, we need to go out and play again. And the other person knows that it is time too. We pick up stuff, clothes, props and of course camera’s and lighting. We put all of it in our car and we drive somewhere. We call it No mans’ land. And on this location we play, we experiment, we agree and disagree about the image.”
Wiesje: “We do this since Trijntje is around six years old. She is not the only figurant in the series. Other people are also part of our play. But it is our project. She also writes about it. Poems. This is also part of NEST.”
For Storybook I decided to ask for a specific photo of Trijntje where she dances naked on a beach. I’m so touched by its’ light and the vulnerability of the moment. I feel that the way they share these moments of creation is so special, so unique.
What I also find inspiring is that they both share their own perspectives on the project. They tell me how its’ meaning changes with the passing of time. While they grow in life, the project also grows. They paint the scene of them hanging all prints of the photos of the series on the wall and deciding, discussing on their place in the series. I would love to observe this process at one time.
A few days after our conversation, Trijntje and Wiesje surprise me with the story that is connected to the image of the girl dancing on a beach. It stands out in originality. They wrote the story as a scene in a film. You find all of this beauty in Storybook. Travel with us around the globe and meet these wonderful people.
Thank you Trijntje and Wiesje xx
Want to see more of Wiesje & Trijntje?
> Website: https://wiesjepeels.myportfolio.com/intro
> Instagram: @wiesjepeels