As every first-year art student knows, red and green are complementary
colours and combining them produces huge optical impact. Put a red dot
on a green plane and something special happens: the image starts to move
In 2004, Hanne van der Woude eyed the landscape around Nijmegen (a city in the east of the Netherlands, near the German border) with this knowledge in mind. She stood in the floodplain beside the River Waal and thought how she could make the green washlands look even greener. Her mind turned to redheads.
It was the start of a quest to find models with red hair. To begin with, it wasn't easy. She started to hang around outside primary schools and go up to people in the street; the search gradually turned into obsession.
After reading in an English newspaper that people with naturally red hair are a vanishing breed, Van der Woude got the idea of photographing as many of them as possible and producing a book of the photographs.
Unlike the photographs in earlier books on this subject, such as the famous Redheads by the American photographer Joel Meyerowitz (1991) and a book with the same title by German photographer Uwe Ditz (2000), Van der Woude's pictures are not simply straightforward portraits of people – often children – with red hair and pale, freckled skin; Hanne van der Woude remains true to her second love: the Dutch landscape.
She adopts a narrative, almost cinematic style that is very different from the 'straight photography' of documentary photographers. Each photo-shoot is carefully planned and prepared. Van der Woude travels far and wide in search of the right setting. And during the shoot she uses artificial lighting to bring out "the flamboyant qualities of redheads", as Joel Meyerowitz puts it in his book.
—Wim van Sinderen
Editor's Note: The pictures of 150 redheads throughout the Netherlands are published in the book MC1R – Natuurlijk rood haar. (MC1R is the gene that controls skin and hair colour). The accompanying texts are by Wim van Sinderen and Erik Sistermans.
Hanne van der Woude was one of three photographers chosen to represent the Netherlands this year at the nightlong projection of photographs from 27 European countries at the Rencontres Festival in Arles. Wim van Sinderen served as curator for the selections from the Netherlands.
Long before iPhones and Instagram: 60 years of one Dutch girl's "selfies" firing a gun into the camera! Outrageous lifetime photo concept — watch her age in the same pose — a split second after she pulls the trigger of her rifles — from age 16 to 88.
Hidden in the grooves of these ancient tree trunks (some as old as 4,000 years!), one finds a perfectly weathered beauty—and a hope that we can discover better ways to live harmoniously with our environment.
's HK project is a series black-and-white contextual portraits of present-day inhabitants of a Hutter’s colony in Slovenia, which was originally built to house factory workers in the 1930s.