Friday, 5 June 2009

My Town - Annick Ligtermoet

Annick Ligtermoet creates dark romantic photographic stories, eerie scenes which seem aged and timeless at the same time. After catching the attention of bloggers and foreign galleries, it’s been upwards for Annick. She tells us about her hometown Amsterdam, where she likes “to escape from reality and create fantasies”.

What projects are you currently working on?

Beginning this year I have started working on a project in Russia. I stayed there for two months to shoot photographs and it is almost finished. I went to Russia because I got selected by the ACF (a photography institute in Amsterdam) after my graduation.

You mentioned that you will do a solo show in NY, how did you achieved that?
I was tagged on a known blogspot for photographers ( and as a result approached by two galleries. I decided to choose Gallery Sunday since they offered the best opportunities, later on I got in contact with Galleria Glance via the same way. I won several competitions during my final year which led to shows in Arles and Berlin. Consequently, they blogged me again and more galleries started to approach me. So, the internet has really made my work accessible and it offered me a lot of opportunities.

Where do you work?
I have worked in a lot of other cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam. But I always try to make my work look less as possible from a time and place, so that there are barely any signs of recognition, because it is more about the atmosphere that I want to show.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
From personal interests, to literature, friends, movies, and currently Moscow, its culture and way of life. I like contrasts, for example, Moscow is a tough but beautiful city, a country of extremes. In my photos I want to show that, the magical, the mythical, the story behind it.

Your favourite gallery?
That would be Seelevel, a new gallery in Amsterdam which is absolutely fantastic. They want to make art more accessible so they sell high volumes against low prices. In short, they show ‘visual artists who express themselves through photography. “

Where’s the best place to shop?
The ‘Negen Straatjes’ at the Jordaan, where you can find a lot of antique and second hand shops. It is very nice and a little less crowded as the inner city of Amsterdam.

Best place for a good coffee.
I like to go to Foodism in the Jordaan, it is a small but very nice restaurant at the Oude Leliestraat in Amsterdam.

Best place to see some nature
I like the nature when I am cycling alongside the water from West Amsterdam to the Schinkelkade (in South Amsterdam). It is a little industrial but it also looks really nice. But the best place would be at my hometown, the Veluwe. I basically grew up in the forest and I love landscapes and trees.

What is your favorite hotspot in Amsterdam?
That would be Overtoom 301, a former squat which has turned into a creative centre. The atmosphere at the Overtoom 301 is very relaxed. ( )

Name a song that best sums up how you feel about your town.
The complete oeuvre of a Dutch singer Johhny Jordaan

Name an artwork that you feel represents your town
The statue of a diseased writer named Gerard Reve. He is my all-time heroe and he kind of had a love-hate relationship with Amsterdam.

Annika exhibits 27 June, Westerpark Amsterdam at the Gay monument; 30 June in Italy, Turin at Galleria Glance and 4 August a solo show at the Sunday Gallery in New York.

By Nicky Ruisch

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