A video artist documenting little wonders that come our way and the pure beauty of daily life, which is all dances of subtle change over time.
I grew up in a home that sort of resembled a zoo. The greatest spectacle my parents had ever made was a tiny rainforest in the attic, where hummingbirds flew around and frogs and lizards were trying their best not to be seen. Though now I am aware of the destruction hiding behind the magic of keeping exotic animals in a well-heated Dutch home, I cannot deny that this is how I got into touch with nature, this is how I learned to see things that often go unnoticed, to appreciate that which is small, silent, pure, magnificent.
Years later, during my studies in photography I found a philosopher’s words that said that: “A feeling of sadness arises in people, when looking at a beautiful work of art or being in a beautiful piece of nature. It reminds them of the absence of this beauty in normal days and they wonder, why not everyday life can be like this.”
Years ago, when I found these words, I had seen but a glimpse of how ugly indeed our lives can be. Still it was enough for me to start my fight to never have these words become the truth for me, or, for anybody else. For, when you cannot see any beauty in your world, it does not mean that it is not there. But, the simple not noticing of something, can destroy everything. So I started to document the little wonders that came my way, hoping that by showing what I saw, I could teach others to see, like my parents had taught me, and all I held so dear would be protected.
The change from photography to video came by pure chance (the oh so common video feature on a digital photocamera). Although the videos still hold to their photographic roots, to include time was a necessary step to take to show the pure beauty of daily life, which is all dances of subtle change over time.
Today I do my best to take my camera for a walk once a week. Seeing new places and different ways of living has greatly enriched our lives and our work: we followed trails of ants and hugged stray cats in the streets, floated above the earth in cable carts, saw insects that can walk on water, drank too many coffees and didn’t sleep.
We ate some snow after which the camera froze, but I got it back to work. We sat by a pool for hours watching leaves floating by. Bugs got lost in my hair, lens caps lost in various bags. We searched for lizards in the parks, watched dust flying around in hotel rooms and saw the birds and clouds in the sky.
Still, I have to say, some videos were taken in or from my own living room and even some through the bathroom window.
Mirjamsvideos’ ClimateCultures posts