Analogue photography by Elise Struyck
Elise Struyck is an Amsterdam based analogue photographer, born in the Netherlands in 1986 to a Dutch mother and an Indonesian father. Growing up in a culturally conservative environment, the arts were not encouraged in the same way that a business or trade skill set was, and even though she completed her studies in music management, her passion for art and photography never dimmed.
Being pulled in one direction culturally and another creatively has led Elise Struyck down countless different paths. From Artistic Event Manager at Vice Media to Photography Assistant for Latoya van der Meeren. From production of theatre shows to production of video clips. From promotional shoots to intimate portraits and private shoots. Elise has plunged head first into a wide variety of creative endeavours both personal to professional.
This diverse medley of jobs and passion projects has moulded Elise's creative vision into a thing of its own. Over time she has developed a perspective that is embedded in all of her artistic output. Through travel in both international and local environments she has sought a specific, hard to define moment, a particular colour or transient situation to capture in her intimate and unique style.
Her work is an exploration in grounding oneself in impermanent spaces and capturing the moment when grounding is not an option. In her first solo expo "Oneindigheid Boven Alles" (2018) at Etty Kastein's pop up gallery in Amsterdam, she captured broad, almost endless top down clouded landscapes. This was an attempt to show us a space above all our human issues, a space we can pass through, a space we can seldom visit but never belong. We always must return to our human environments. But these environments are seemingly becoming ever more chaotic and unpredictable, which is the catalyst for Elise's on-going photographic and conversational project "Finding Elders". Feeling lost in her own environment and lacking wisdom passed down in the oral tradition from any elder, she decided - rather than wait for an elder to find her - she would go and find them. In this continuing project Elise seeks to capture what she feels are important moments and wisdoms from the elders of her families and the families of her community.
Elise's work is an attempt to construct an anchor point, a glimpse at meaning and beauty in what otherwise can appear chaotic and directionless.
Oneindigheid boven alles
My love for analogue photography emerged during my overseas travel in 2013. The grain of the film, the look and feel of the outcome, the sound of the shutter, everything about it is filling my soul with joy. Daily life, friends, family but also the magnificence of nature if often subject of my photos.
In 2017 I started my search for elders (70 y.o. and up) in and around my inner social circles. Engaging with them in a conversation about wisdom and life in general, we talk about topics like; life-lessons they got taught from their parents, love, problems and mental illnesses, and what their take on is on all this and how to handle them. All the while my analogue camera is pointed at them.
Like most people I would like my life to matter, to have meaning. Not only for myself but also to others, to make a positive difference and support people who are in need. But how do I juggle all this? And like so many others, I am lacking the necessary guidance and advice from my 'elders'.
With this project I hope to gain a wider perspective to life and extract some wisdom and life lessons that I can share with other people who are searching for guidance. I believe these elders possess a certain knowledge and wisdom that can help me (and hopefully others) to grow in my life.
With this project I hope to find guidance of how to live a life well. How hopes, dreams are suppose to be managed well and to find an answer to what is a good life and how to make the right choices.
In an hour (or 3) I'm trying to capture their life in image and word and in my search hearing about hard or funny life lessons, about life in general and what our culture means to us and how we should try and see/treat the world and each other.
Can I find elders?
If you know anybody who would be interested in this, please email me: email@example.com
Finding Elders (2017-present)