A photo series & object about class system, imprisonment and freedom.
In 2016 I worked as an artist in residence during Art Gouda. The event was taking place in an old orphanage in the center of town. As I had never created a portrait series I decided to challenge myself and work with the artists present to take their long exposure portrait in the natural light falling through the stained glass windows. This brought about a bit of tension as I needed the sun to be present and I could only shoot during a certain period that the light was falling through. When a person would sit I would ask to slowly mover his or her head during a 10 to 15 seconds recording. The results are photos of people with blurred heads. The people become like a adult, unknown version of the residents of the orphanage. A place that had little future to offer, as an orphan you were usually classed to child labour and a bleak future.
When the series was done I felt I needed to add more to the existing story. In the mean time I had read about Edgar Allan Poe, how he became an orphan at a young age. He did not go to an orphanage but still, his being alone must have made a big impact on the young author. In later life he wrote a poem, Alone, which I found to be fitting the theme of my residency and the atmosphere I was after.
Of a demon in my view—
When the Art Gouda exhibit was over and we returned home I still found the series was not finished, it needed something more. So I let some ideas simmer for a while. I was thinking how these orphans used to live and must have thought about escaping. I felt they were kept like worker bees in a bee hive, but what would happen if one escapes … This would be an example for the rest and mutiny might follow.
With this idea I started to work on the concept of 3 bee hives: one with eggs hatching the young orphans kept in hiding, a second with full grown children and one empty chair and a third with all empty chairs. They have escaped. The one person that sets the example for change may take the rest in its footsteps away.
Concept, animation, edit & object: Udo Prinsen
Technical realisation epoxy objects: Maarten Kip