What Remains: a Photo Exhibit in Flandria Hotel to stop time

02 Mar 2020

We are excited to announce that there will be another exhibition at our Flandria Hotel!

This time we will be displaying a series of photographs by the talented Kristin Van den Eede. “What Remains” is, in her words, an attempt to stop time and hold on to memories.

This series was previously exhibited at the International Photography Festival of Pelt. Naturally, we wanted to find out more about Kristin and her work, so we asked her some questions…

Where does your love of photography come from?

I actually discovered photography rather late in life, around 6 years ago. My husband had bought a new camera and started taking it with him everywhere he went.

After a while I started to point out interesting things for him to shoot or even take the camera from him. It didn’t take long for him to get fed up with that and insist I get my own camera 😊.

Photography wasn’t my first love. Before I started shooting, I loved drawing and writing. I have always felt the need to express myself creatively, and so far photography is my favourite medium to do that. I think I thrive on the visual input, and I love how it allows me to capture the little moments, the beauty of everyday life.

Who are the people of What Remains? Is there a story behind them?

They all lived and died at some point in or around Ghent. They are complete strangers to me and I actually relish that anonymity. I don’t know them at all, and yet, when I took their picture, I felt very close to them.

Later, when I was going through the photos, I felt like I gradually got to know them. They had a way of looking at me that made me feel like they were long-lost friends, like we had a connection.

Where did you take the pictures and how did you choose people to photograph?

All pictures were taken on All Saints’ Day, between sunrise and sunset, at the largest garden cemetery in Ghent.

More recent graves had a lot of visitors, but the residents of these older monumental tombs and vaults didn’t have any at all. I was simply drawn to these worn out faces.

When you first walk by them, they are just anonymous graves in a huge cemetery. But when you look more closely, you notice their individual quirks, a shy glance here, a stern look there.

You feel their eyes on your back and it hits you: these are people like you and me. The fact that they’re from another century doesn’t change that.

Did you use a specific technique to make the photos so emotional?

The people in the pictures do a lot of the work for me, I think.

I cropped the images to create a composition that appealed to me and then approached the photos as a canvas to be painted on – not with a brush but from behind my computer. Other than that, it’s all down to moss, dirt, rain and wind.

Which is your favourite photo of this series and why?

The largest image, the only one in landscape orientation, without a doubt. It’s the first image I took and I still find it the most striking one. He also reminds me of a distant relative of mine, which is kind of eerie but also comforting, in a sense.

What is the message you want to convey through this exhibition?

Art does not need to have a message as far as I am concerned. Everyone visiting can find their own message in my work. In fact, I’d prefer that. I don’t like to fill in the blanks.

Do you have a preference: analogue vs. digital?

I prefer digital, but I also shoot analogue from time to time. Digital is just more practical and cheaper. Unfortunately, it can’t beat the beautiful grain and texture you get from an analogue black and white shot.

Where do you get the inspiration for your series?

I am inspired by a lot of things: movies, music, books, graphic novels, other photographers, all the beautiful things around me. In a nutshell, life.

Be sure to pay a visit to Flandria Hotel's Betty Bijoux Bar to discover “What Remains” up close.

If you have any questions for Kristin yourself, or are just curious to see the face behind the camera, you should definitely join us for the opening event on Saturday, March 21 (4-7 pm)If you can’t make it, don’t worry: the photos will be displayed in our hotel every day until Sunday, May 24!

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