Patricia van de Camp, beauty and vulnerability


For ‘Seasons of Life’, a contemporary book of hours and pilgrims, Patricia van de Camp made a series of four photographs measuring 10 x 10 cm. Together they form a mysterious whole. The sober and powerful images immediately appeal and raise questions. Is a life course depicted? Some human emotions shown? Vulnerability raised? Reincarnation imagined? Everyone will have their own associations. The image is moving and exciting.

That empty pillow, the child hiding behind it and the vulnerability of the naked human being remind me of the biblical story in which Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise. But hey, there’s so much to think about and associate with her work. That’s the quality of it. When I was looking at it again for a while, a title suddenly struck me: ‘Everything is vanity and the pursuit of wind…’. What would your title be?

A few years ago I was introduced to the work of Patricia van de Camp for the first time. At an art fair in Rotterdam I saw a beautiful series of photos of perky little girls in their most beautiful dresses. These photos by Patricia van de Camp stood out to me because of their beauty. But there had to be more. Only beauty can’t touch me like that. In the portraits I could see something of the people these girls already are, not yet clouded by clichés and prejudices. Patricia’s world children evoke associations with innocence and vulnerability, love and tenderness, hope and trust. I like to see that depicted. 

Patricia van de Camp was born in Utrecht in 1969. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (graphic design/photography) and the Königlich Dänische Kunstakademie Kolding, Denmark (graphics and illustration).