Corine Oosterlee (1957, The Netherlands)
Corine is a photographer, botanist and botanical guide in Dordogne, SW-France. In her images she gives a personal interpretation to what she sees around her, in the woods, valleys and meadows of the Périgord. Her engagement with the landscapes that surround her and her experiences in botany have shaped her way of seeing. Due to the nature of her occupations she spends a lot of time in the field.
She has learnt the techniques of photography by doing and reading, by practising and experimenting, and also by listening to other photographers. Through the work of painters, drawers and print makers she has learned the importance of looking intensively.
An ongoing project is to photograph the spontaneous flora of the Dordogne and its habitats as a way to keep a current image. These images are included in botanical photo libraries and used to illustrate scientific or educational projects.
Her other projects focus on a representation that reflects a vision of the photographer. An image is also a composition of textures, lines, planes and colours that evokes all kinds of reactions in the viewer; his associations, thoughts and emotions are added to the work. Corine finds her images in the forests, fields and valleys of Perigord and she turns her gaze towards seemingly insignificant things and unnoticed details.
After a technically impeccable capture, the craftmanship of printing with its physical and manual aspects is an integral part of the work and frees it from the screens.
Corine exhibits a few times a year in Dordogne, usually with other visual artists, and rarely elsewhere.
Walking, moving around, has always been a part of my life, and now I take a camera. 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 with them where they live. I am not the kind of person to be immobilized in a hide to capture wild animals, even if I love their presence and am happy if our paths cross. I prefer places that are no longer frequented by humans and where you are surrounded by trees, where you can feel the earth, hear the rustling of leaves and perhaps the little sound of flowing water.
Nearly all of my photographs are taken within a few square kilometres in the South-west of France. The Périgord is an abandoned landscape.Now, no one uses any more the paths overgrown with brambles and no one cultivates any more the land that is becoming forest. Everything we call 'nature' is shaped by human activities and unthinkable without this influence.The past is tangible and nothing we have done can be undone. How can we face and cope with things as they are?
I look at the traces of life around me in a need to be aware what is there and I take pictures of what I see around me. Details, in-obvious things. I try to put aside the too beautiful and the spectacular. No need to go far away, everything is here. And after years of photography in all seasons in a small corner of Dordogne I am just beginning to see...