Rebecca Rijsdijk



I was born in a small town in the southern part of Holland in 1984 and grew up in the woods behind our house, always busy building tree houses or pushing rafts across the stream. The first picture I took was of my sister on a chair in between some trees. The pictures I take today are quite similar. I still photograph the people around me in natural settings or on the road as we go on little adventures together. I try to capture them as they are in that instance but I also stage memories or dreams I had.


During my early twenties I studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague where I soon became aware that the art world as I knew it back then was not for me, so I pay my bills by moonlighting as a nurse, create content for my grandmother's knitting shop and run a small publishing house called Sunday Mornings at the River with my friend Sanne. When I am not busy editing photos for Sunday Mornings or writing texts for my nan I occasionally squeeze out a shitty poem or two which I collect in little paperback books I publish myself.


“What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself.” – Roland Barthes


I look at the picture in my hand. It portrays a boy with a red beard and I am in love with him. His eyes are sad and he is wrapped in a blanket. I know the boy he's supposed to depict but it isn't him, or not really anyway. This projection of him misses the warmth of his skin, the scent of his cologne;  no matter how hard I press my nose down on the paper, I only smell ink. The sounds that were present at the moment I took the picture have faded as well. The photograph does not remember the screaming of playing children in the courtyard or the seagulls' cry for attention outside the window.

I create two types of photographs; the diary photos (what you shoot is what you get) and the more or less conceptual photos which always result into a bigger project. My diary work exists pretty much out of my friends in the woods, my friends swimming in lakes; the adventures we get up to on the road or in the backyard. My projects however, are about the things I am unable to deal with in real life, the sad things, the things that make me cry for days.

I rarely use photography as a first medium any more, but started writing very short stories that have a lot in common with photographs. These are the photographs I didn't take because I forgot to bring my camera, left the film in the top shelf of the fridge or simply because a photo wouldn't be able to capture what I wanted to capture when I placed my finger on the shutter button. Photography by itself isn't what makes me tick. I use it as a tool to tell a story that's bigger than the frame in which it is captured. I see my photographs as triggers of daydreams, tiny catalysts for the mental images, the memories or the stories they awaken in the mind of the viewer.