Amsterdam: Life on the canal

Summer has finally arrived in Europe and the heat is sweltering. The key to enjoying hot summer days and evenings is access to refreshing bodies of water. This brings a different form of life to the canals of Amsterdam. People flock to them in droves – setting up picnics for the day, jumping off bridges and of course, cruising around in boats.

Re-construction or destruction?

In order to re-build and re-construct – whether a place is affected by natural disaster, conflict or is just experiencing a rejuvenation – there is some form of perturbing, painful and distraught level of destruction which is usually involved. We are reminded of the amount of soil, wires, cement and steel that are involved to build the spaces in which we live and work.

Through modern construction materials such as bulldozers, cranes and diggers, we are able to create strong foundations for something new. At the same time, we can destroy what was, erasing old memories and spaces as if they never existed.

This is modern development at its best…and worst.

 

Doors as portals to the past and future

A door is for opening. And for closing.

That is the first line of an online article on how photographer Robert Colmer took photos of 3,000 doors of New York City in the 1970s as part of a project named Doors, NYC. While this ‘door series’ may appear random or even chaotic at first, there is a particular form of pattern and coherence linked to it. Whether it is the angle in which the photo is taken, if there are quirky details or people – each photo represents a particular interest that Colmer had in that image before him. Inspired by German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher who are known for creating somewhat symmetrical series that made the boring beautiful, Colmer goes one step further and creates an interest, a desire to know the story behind the photograph.

Philosophically, doors are representative of being portals to the past but also the future. The old and the new. The crossing of a threshold towards a new start and new opportunities while leaving behind old baggage.

As we move towards a new year, I present my door series. One which, while it may first appear like a random collection, it is representative of different paths we take. Both open and closed doors. Photos that are taken full frontal or from a side angle. I ask you to look at each door and think about what you think you would find should you walk through it.