Scarlett Hooft Graafland
While Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s images are soft and colourful, they are in fact the result of a complex reflection on societal and environmental issues.
The Dutch artist lives for several weeks at the rhythm of the local populations that she stages and photographs, creating a strong bond of trust. The human relationship and sharing are at the heart of her personal and artistic approach, which is part of the continuation of conceptual photography. Her projects - based on performances or in situ installations - are mostly upstream. In fine, photography intervenes as a witness to preserve a trace of an ephemeral artistic activity.
The Netherlands , 1973
Scarlett Hooft Graafland was born in 1973 in the Netherlands. She earned a BFA at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands, and an MFA in sculpture at Parson’s School of Design in New York. After brilliant studies, Scarlett Hooft Graafland spent the following years travelling to remote places where she choreographed performances with local people. Her surreal photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide
Traveling to the most isolated corners on earth, for Scarlett Hooft Graafland these austere surroundings become live actors in the highly choreographed performances that she stages there. All her photographs are taken with a silver camera without any digital manipulation and printed directly from the negative. In this way, it preserves the power of photography. She has fun representing the irrational and the fantastic through the performances she stages. Recently, she has been working by hand on her silver photographs, embroidering with coloured thread.
Her work is an exploration of the world, from the Bolivian salt desert to the desolate Canadian Arctic, to the island of Madagascar and the remote shores of Vanuatu, where her interactions reflect an exchange between the limitless realm of nature and the relative limits of culture.
I like to travel to remote places and explore foreign cultures far from the western world. I want to capture the essential aspect of local communities. By showing isolated but culturally significant objects and situations in an indomitable and ever-changing natural world, I try to relate to the essential experience of being. - Scarlett Hooft Graafland