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, Netherlands|
|2014||Photography Masters Cup, USA|
|2013||Black & White Spider Awards, USA|
|2012||International Photography Awards, USA|
|2010||Landscape Photographer of the Year, UK|
|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|