Corine Oosterlee (1957, The Netherlands)
Photographer, botanist and botanical guide in Dordogne, France
Corine is a photographer, botanist and botanical guide in Perigord, in varying proportions. By offering walks and excursions with a botanical theme for groups of tourists, botanists and nature lovers, she shares her knowledge of botany and the joys of the landscape. She is part of the networks of botanists in the region and contributes to the knowledge of the wild flora.
In front of her lens are mainly vegetation and wild plants wherever they grow, but she does not hesitate to look elsewhere. Her art photographs are regularly exhibited in Dordogne and sometimes elsewhere. She also accepts commissioned work and also makes documentary images, notably of the wild plants of the Périgord.
Moving around, walking, wandering, have always been part of my life, and now I wander in woods and meadows of Perigord with a camera. I don't need to go far, everything is there, nearby. If you go to the same place often and look for a long time, you see more. At the beginning I see mostly what is obvious, the spectacular or the picturesque. Gradually I manage to put that aside, and with the help of the camera I start to see better, and differently. It takes slowness, letting time pass, and returning often to the same place. Then the images begin to come.
In the realm of words I felt in my element. To leave behind my mother tongue helped me to go beyond texts and stories. The camera opened up new perspectives.
There is a lot of nature and plant life in my pictures. This is not completely accidental. Since ever I found plants fascinating, their silent way of being here and living their lives in parallel with ours, and indifferent to us humans. I like to be in nature, even if nature can rarely be considered as really wild. We left our traces all over it, everywhere.The subservience we imposed on it did deeply change the lives of other creatures around us and the mutial relationship we are in with them. We cannot avoid questions about our relationship with other lives on earth. I don't know what wil become of us and of nature.
I don't travel for photography. For environmental reasons but also because I'm not that interested in hotspots and places to be. Also I think it's behind the façade of the evidently beautiful that interesting things happen, and it takes time and immersion in the place where you are to get there. After years of photography in all seasons on a few square kilometres in the Dordogne I am only beginning to see...
The camera doesn't see things as our eye sees them, the photographer makes her choices, and then she does some post-prcessing, the resulting image is printed. Even if I would like to record reality as it is, it is impossible. The question what reality is and if it is the same for everybody is not tho the point here.
Art photography, documentary images, commissioned works
Botanics : www.botanicwalk.fr
Botanical guide Baladebotanique.fr