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Background Information about Wilco Dragt
Wilco Dragt presents the French Coast in a new light. Using long exposure times, the Dutch photographer transforms the quiet waters of the English Channel into finely marbled shades of grey. Some works are structured around a clear horizontal line, while in others water and land blend together almost imperceptibly. Either way, the monochromatic sea and sky are all Dragt needs to capture the viewer’s attention, to reveal a unique view of “La Manche” and a different side of France.
The viewer is immediately struck by the calmness and longing that emanate from the works. The images are like pictorial realizations of our own memories. The time that Dragt invests in his contemplative images is also instantly apparent. The Arnhem-based artist uses the early morning hours and dusk’s gentle glow to capture his minimalistic black and white shots.
The famous stone archway, La Manneporte, has inspired renowned artists such as Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet, both of whom produced entire series devoted to these remarkable cliffs. Dragt’s works also have a remarkable painterly quality; through his intuition and refined lighting techniques, his photographs of the Alabaster Coast’s spectacular rock formations are entirely unique.
Dragt described his artistic approach as a mission: “I am looking for beauty and elegance and my means of expressing that is through photographing landscapes. We are living in a world full of noise and bustle, both visually and audiovisually. We are always in a hurry and hardly take time to stop and stand still, to be quiet and silently look around. With humility, and sometimes hesitantly, I try to stop down this fast pace. With an open eye and mind I try to find subtle and intimate beauty, which is too often overlooked. My passion and drive is to make this visible and perceptible through photographic images of the landscapes that surround us.”
1960 Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands Lives and works in Arnhem, NetherlandsAwards
2014 Photography Masters Cup, USA 2013 Black & White Spider Awards, USA 2012 International Photography Awards, USA 2010 Landscape Photographer of the Year, UK 2010 Glanzlichter, GermanyExhibitions
2014 Art Gallery Opsteker, Amsterdam, Netherlands Les Vrais, Art Gallery eyeLoco, Knokke, Belgium In the Fringes of Time – Wilco Dragt, eyeLoco Antwerp, Belgium
2014 Art Gallery SilleKunst, Oudewater, Netherlands ArtArnhem, Arnhem, Netherlands Annual Dutch Art Fair Amsterdam, Netherlands Huntenkunst, Ulft, Netherlands 2013 Kunstmoment, Diepenheim, Netherlands