Bertien van Manen
Bertien van Manen is known for her poetic and intuitive style of photography, capturing intimate and spontaneous moments on a simple snapshot camera. Bertien van Manen often photographs intimate scenes. At Seelevel Gallery she showed three photos, taken in Russia and the Ukraine, in which love rubs and has a sharp and not always pleasant edge. The importance of her work is in the way that Van Manen is able to make a sincere connection with her subjects. She is always searching for personal contact with the people she follows and photographs. This results in her characteristic, direct and intimate portraits. Portraits which are both alienating and familiar at the same time.
About Beyond Maps and Atlases
Beyond Maps and Atlases is the first body of work made in Ireland by Bertien van Manen. It traces her journey across the island just after the dead of her husband. Van Manen’s Ireland is imbued with both a strong sense of place and an attendant sense of mystery. Van Manen’s restless imagination has, in the past, taken her to Russia, China and the Appalachians. Beyond Maps and Atlases continues, and deepens, that sense of a continuous journey into place and belonging. During her visits in Ireland she stayed in the homes of strangers, mostly other photographers living across Ireland, who became friends with van Manen and made work alongside the her. While travelling she became immersed in Irish literature and was guided by the words and landscapes of Seamus Heaney, John Banville and John McGahern as much as the people she travelled with.
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