Category Archives: Personal

Happy 2017

‘A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song’
Maya Angelou

 

The past year yet again has been filled with wonderful people, some personal challenges, beautiful travel and inspiring moments.

Working and writing on my first book ‘In praise of shadows’ has been/ and is amazing in every way imaginable.
I hope to share the final result and many more other stories, with an equal amount of passion as always, in 2017.

For now, wishing you a happy and love filled new year.

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Happy 2016

Pakistan

© Wendy Marijnissen

I want to wish you a wonderful and happy 2016.

Thank you so much for following my adventures and photographic encounters both at home and on the road.  Here’s to continuing following your path and dreams.

“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”  – from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

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Ian MacKaye

Time sure flies…

I just realized today it’s already been 3 years ago, almost to the day, that I met and photographed a person I really admire and respect. Ian MacKaye from the legendary band Fugazi.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

I was traveling and photographing the North-Eastern part of the US and going in search of my hardcore roots, that were a part of my adolescence life. (and still are)
Fugazi’s music has been so important to me in so many ways and I still love their music as much as I did back then.

And today while talking to Nico, a friend and talented theatre maker, I had to think about the moment I was in the basement of Dischord House, where Fugazi rehearse and have recorded some of their albums. What was supposed to be a meeting and about an hour to photograph and talk to him, became an entire afternoon and a wonderful encounter between us. Ian told me that I must be doing something right because I was there in that moment, having a wonderful conversation with him in a basement in the middle of Arlington, West-Virginia and life was pretty good right?. It was…. and knowing where I come from, the road that I’ve traveled… today I was reminded again of the fact, that life is pretty good at this moment and I’m surrounded by some of the most amazing friends.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

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Notes

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

I hope you’ll check out and follow ‘Notes’, a new blog I started for my polaroid images. Enjoy!

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Seppe

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

I’ve just heard sad news that Seppe, the little ringmaster of Theater Stap has left us and passed away…

I’ve met Seppe when I photographed the wonderful performance ‘Donkisjot’ by Theater Stap, with whom I later traveled to Morocco where they were invited to play at a theatre festival. Some moments or meetings shape you in your life and in your work, and this particular group of people did so for me. It’s been one of the most profound experiences in my life to this day and through the play, I’ve met some of the most wonderful people around.

What I loved about working with the actors of theater Stap, was their generosity and absolute honesty which translates in pure love. They don’t pretend unless they are on the scene performing their lines. Gorgeous souls, each one of them.

I’ll always remember Seppe’s incredible smile, peeping through the door backstage.  Wishing his family and everyone at Theater Stap lots of strength. He’ll be missed…

 

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

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Old box self

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

In cleaning and reorganizing my office, I’ve been going through some old boxes of photographs and I came across these ones.

My first self portraits (of many more that were taken in the years after) I took for a school assignment over 20 years ago. It was in my first year photography at the Royal Academy of Arts here in Antwerp.  The first time living on my own,  just a lot of firsts and discoveries really.

The great thing about these self portraits is how you can see yourself change and yet being much the same over the years. And even more lovely is you see the willingness to experiment and be free in your photography.

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Jeanne

It’s with great sadness that I heard the news today that my wonderful and dear neighbor and the Grand Dame of dance in Belgium Jeanne Brabants had died

What Jeanne has meant for the dance world is hard to even start to describe. She literally put dance on the map in Belgium and in Flanders in particular and professionalized this art by founding the Royal Ballet of Flanders and the famous Ballet school ‘Het Stedelijk Instituut voor Ballet’ here in Antwerp. Besides dancing herself and teaching she choreographed countless ballets herself.

Passionate about dance myself and dreaming of becoming a ballerina when I was young, I was already really happy to photograph in her school over 12 years ago.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

I was so excited when I moved into my appartement block and found out that Jeanne was living in the same building. This wonderful block is filled with some amazing people that still really know each other and care about each other and I was lucky enough to get to know Jeanne personally. At first we came across each other in the hallway, she on her way to her physiotherapy and I on my way to yoga class and we would have our so called alley talks.  Soon though she would invite me over for coffee and we would talk endlessly about ballet, about love, about really fighting for what you believe in, about the passion for life. She was really inspirational in her fight for getting Ballet to where it is right now and she never stopped fighting for it up until she really was too ill and in hospital. Jeanne breathed ballet…

But reducing her to ballet alone would be doing her great injustice indeed. I loved it most when we would talk about love. Like a grandmother she would listen to my stories of my latest love interests or breakups and she was always curious about how my dates went.  She would talk so beautifully about her husband, former radio journalist Bert Van Kerckhoven. So wonderful to hear. Even though he had died a long time ago already, I feel she was still in love with him. Bert had written a youth book about his trip to the Congo with former Belgian King Boudewijn and I’m still so glad that I was able to find an original first edition copy of the book as a birthday present for Jeanne who wanted it so much for her children and grandchildren as she didn’t have a copy of it herself.

Do have a look at the episode ‘De Week van de liefde’ by Wim Opbrouck with Jeanne where she talks about love in all it’s shapes and forms. It really is how she was and how I’ll remember her. She talks about how we love more with our hands then with our eyes or our mouth as we touch. And that is what she would do constantly. A very tactile person, not afraid of touching, grabbing your hand, putting her hand on my body to correct my posture,…

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And just as the new year has begun and I have written my new list of new years resolutions as I do each year, it now seems almost like a little bit of a tribute to her. Jeanne told me and reminded me to dream, to believe in myself and my work and to not be afraid to follow my heart. Looking at my list now and after writing a few love letters to some of the most wonderful and meaningful people in my life, it seems I’m reminding myself of her advice and I feel I’m doing my best to listen.

Miss you already dear Jeanne and hope you’ll dance on in the world of the spirits.

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