Margriet Smulders Exhibition at Erasmus Huis

In my opinion, Margriet Smulders is not just a photographer: She is a magician.

Using smokes and mirrors she cleverly transformed common flowers into whimsical artworks that cunningly looked more like paintings than photographs.

When I arrived at the exhibition opening and looked at the flyer, I asked a friend, “this is a photo exhibition, right?”Because really, they looked like abstract paintings with expressive splashes of paints and brush strokes.

I stepped into the exhibition hall of Erasmus Huis and took a closer look at the works. I was still very much convinced that they were paintings. But I was so utterly wrong.

The Dutch photographer had cleverly deceived us with her photos – beautifully arranged flowers, placed on top of a mirror and puddles of water. Above the flowers were colourful fabric, providing vibrant backgrounds.

And the results were trippy floral images, that took us to some unknown fantasy lands, some were utopic and full of warmth while some others were mysterious and shrouded by mist.

If you look much closer, there is like another world inside those floral images, and some even have faces and other familiar shapes.

At the opening Margriet explained about her projects, and how she was fascinated by Indian fabric, and how the floral arabesques in the traditional art of Java and Bali inspired her to make a new series of her project. As written in the flyer (which printed on an awesome piece of paper btw),

Painting with her camera,
Margriet Smulders creates her own
mystique orientale

The titles for the photographs were taken from poetry, including Indonesian Sitor Situmorang’s “The Celestial Marsh with the Wild Ducks”, and Shakespeare’s romantic sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”

During the exhibition you can also have a look at the dummy of her next photobook, “The Posthumous Narcissus”, scheduled to be published later this year.

The exhibition runs until July 30th, so if you haven’t seen her fascinating photographs, you better go to Erasmus Huis before the end of this month.

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