LAURA HOSPES | GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
Laura Hospes (Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1994) has been capturing her own self with the camera since the tender age of 16, out of a need to connect with people. Inspired by the magical work of Francesca Woodman, the black and white portraits of Stephan Vanfleteren and roughness of Sanne Sannes she evolved her own signature. Currently living in Groningen, The Netherlands she is still working hard to get a better person and photographer every day.
While still studying at the Photoacademy she started her career with a boost by winning the Emerging Talent Award from LensCulture. The media picked up her story and within a flash her photos were on the front page of The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Yahoo and many more. Ever since she works hard to maintain that high set standard, but in a leisurely pace trying to balance it besides her therapies and hospitalisations.
In the mean time she graduated ‘With Honor’ at the Photoacademy and is she proudly represented by Kahmann Gallery, which shows her works on both national and international exhibitions and fairs.
As a closure of a difficult period of time, she created the book UCP, named after the psychiatric ward she had to stay. The book is published by Lecturis Publishers and is for sale at the bookstores and online.
What is your work about?
My work is about me, my life with mental health issues and my struggle with being alive. In monochrome, high contrast photos I show the battle I have to fight against myself everyday. Timeless and without distraction, because the photo needs to speak to the heart directly. For me this is a safe way to show my inside to my outside. I am simply not able to tell someone how I feel. I need time for that and that’s exactly what my camera gives me.
Besides, as a self-portrait photographer I am able to give a voice to people who can’t find the words to explain themselves about how they feel, but desperately want to. I feel honoured that people recognise the emotions shown in my work and are able to feel that little consolation of the knowledge that they are not alone. And I’m determined to keep doing this for the people out there, who are just like me.
How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
began shooting my current story Vleugellam (in English: Clipped Wing) on my analogue camera. It had to be analogue, I had to create the photography, instead of “just” shooting my emotions. I had to go through some heavy situations, not only with my head. It was an attack on my whole body as I needed a skin transplantation due to my self destructive behaviour. I had to process some this not only in my head, but also with my hands, with my whole body.