Henri Blommers, our first artist in residence.
1) Could you describe your project “nature under threat” in your own few words? What makes it special?
Switzerland is very unique with all kinds of biotopes because there are so many unique combinations of soil, climate, height, etc. Therefore specific plants can grow there but the loss that is happening due to climate change and our own behavior is really sad.
The problem with climate change is that it goes slow but there is a point of no return and then it is really too late. What makes my project special is, that climate change is not only the photo in the end but also how it was made and tangible on the negative itself. But there were so many great projects, I just was really lucky to win.
2) How did you enjoy your stay in the Müllerhaus? What was your favorite thing about this time?
It was really ideal to have this small cabin and the beautiful garden. Unfortunately, the garden was midwinter but I will go and look when I am back in August how it looks like, because I loved the garden and myself live on a small allotment in summer since I divorced, it is a refuge for me and I am so curious how the garden looks like now. Also, the welcome was really impressive, you people really made me feel so welcome, I am still very grateful for that.
3) Did the stay help your artistic progress?
The stay really helped also develop my artistic practice, I did all the experiments with the plants in boiling and made new combinations, it was a great learning curve. Many of the chemicals I thought would have a certain effect, didn’t, and some surprise did.
4) Why did you choose photography as your profession? Is there something that you love most about photography?
Oh, very difficult! I am really someone that wants to help people and create something beautiful for the world, improve the world whether it is with climate, identity, social conditions of humans, so art is a good way of doing that. And photography specifically because it is very therapeutic too, to go slow in watching at things or to have the excuse to out and see other places or to be able to meet the most fantastic people just because you are able to make a nice shot with your little black box. What I like most about it are these type of projects, to go deep, travel, make photos, investigate, talk to people, do research and experiment in form.
5) Last question – to lighten it all up 😊 – what came first: the chicken or the egg?
The chicken of course. Like the plants in my project, the species needed many more, so needed to produce more off-spring. The shorter the offspring is inside the chicken, the more you can produce. The chicken however is smart and things of a layer to protect her young ones with food inside, the food is now no longer in her but in the egg. It was an evolutionary process so I think there were also some mistakes in the middle, like a strammermax or something.
Thanks a lot, Henri!
More about Henri and his work you can find here.