Catrien Ariëns

Documentary photography and video

©2013 Catrien Ariëns • Design UD

1944

born in Vught, The Netherlands.

1951 - 1955

lived in Curaçao.

1966 - present

have been living in Amsterdam.

1969

qualified as an interpreter in French language.

1970

hostess at the Dutch Pavillion at the World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan where I was immersed in a multimedia spectacle of film, music and photography. There were also many Japanese multimedia exhibits. When I received a camera as a present from Fuji, I knew immediately what I wanted to be: a photographer!     

1971 - 1974

stewardess at KLM, spent all my free time teaching myself photography.     

1975

became a professional photographer  

1975 - present

freelance photographer; have worked on many commissions such as a still photographer on film sets and in the theater (Het Werkteater); for magazines, annual reports, photobooks, and advertising. From 2001 I started filming, organizing and working on my own documentaries.

2000 - present

most of my work takes place in Curaçao and other parts of the Caribbean.

I try to observe and to understand, to get involved with the people and the places that I want to photograph. My starting point is always a mix of curiosity, surprise and fascination. What counts is what belongs to the subject, to the project I am working on.  

The writer Frank Marinus Arion has best described my photographs in his  forword to the book on Curacao:“The sole criterion that the artist appears to have employed is the impression that the behaviors she photographed have made on her. (- -). In these pictures I often gained impressions that ‘did something’ for me and imbued a kind of familiarity with the environment in which these originated. Here I can enjoy them all the more because I know the background so well. And so much so   because Ariëns often reinforces my own impressions: various aspects which I have always considered unique are also seen as such by her”.

Commissions and Prizes (selected)

1977 - 1981

WOMEN ON THE MOVE

A annual assignment by the Netherlands History section of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, together with  Bertien van Manen.

1981

Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum.

Photobook, “Selfportrait: The Women’s Movement in the 1980’s”, published by the feminist press Sara.

1994

WORLD OF LOVE, one world, four families

Photographs of an extended family in Bangladesh which was commissioned by the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.

1994

Group show in the Tropenmuseum.

1995

Scanning, Applied Art and PhotographyGroup

Show in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

1996 - 1997

ART and CULTURE in Amsterdam

Photograph’s of cultural institutions commisioned by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

1997 - 1998

SUNDAYS

Photographs that were commissoned by the Rijksmuseum and the NRC Handelsblad titled: “Sundays in the Netherlands”.

1998

Solo exhibition of the photographs in the Rijksmuseum. Photobook “Sundays” published by Thomas Rap en De Verbeelding.

1999

Vrouwen gezocht voor mannenwerk

(women in a man’s world), show in Museon, Den Haag.

2000

DANCING EYES

A show in Spaarnestad Archief Haarlem which was a combination of photographs from their archive and my own work

2000

WOLTER & DROS 125 years

Took part in the Jubilee competition and group show called “Wolter & Dros 125 jaar, een Kunst” in the WTC Art Gallery in Rotterdam. My photographs won the competition and the prize allowed me to buy video equipment.

2001

PORTS of AMSTERDAM

Group assignment by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts .

2001 - 2004

PERSPECTIVE

Portraits of Curaçao youths and their dreams of the future, their Perspective.  

2004

One man show in the Curaçao Public Library and in the Melkweg Gallery in Amsterdam.

Personal Statement

Projects (selected)

1982-1985

Handmaid of the Lord

Project realised along with Bertien van Manen about women and their changing position and role within the Catholic church.

1985

An exhibition in the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch.

Photobook “Dienstmaagd des Heren?”, Uitgeverij Waanders, Zwolle.

1986

RETURN TO CURAÇAO

Photographs of the island where I lived as a child.  

1987

Solo exhibiton in the Canon Gallery, Amsterdam.

1987 - 1992

BEST TRADITIONS

Photobook about the Upper Class in the Low Countries, showing their traditional culture  and their special rituals.

1992

“In de beste tradities” was  published by Thomas Rap.

1993

”In de beste tradities” won the first Kees Scherer Prize for the best best photobook 1991/92.

Solo exhibition in the Comeniusmuseum during the Photography Festival in Naarden.

1995 - 1999

CURAÇAO, an island of its own.

Photographs of Curaçao society.

1999

Photobook “Curaçao, an island of its own”, by the Walburg Pers.

2001

One man show of the photographs during the Fotofestival Naarden.

Filmography

2003

DE WEG VAN CARNAVAL

Documentary about the carnaval in Curaçao. Aired by NPS, Wereldomroep en Tele Curaçao.

2005 - 2009

Many short videos about Curaçao for the education department and television. These were about identity, multicultural society, rights and obligations, an obligatory training program for young  adults. More short videos  were made about nature and the environment, in collaboration with Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Nederlandse Antillen and Aruba and Stichting Uniek Curaçao.

2007 - 2009

WHY DIALOGUE?

A documentary about the social dialogue on Curacao and the working on a masterplan for the island. Presented by the University of Curaçao and Tele Curaçao.

2010 - 2012

THE NIGHT HOLDS ME BACK

Documentary about the tambú of Curaçao.

2012

First shows during the first ‘Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam’ in Curaçao and the filmfestival ‘Beeld voor Beeld’ in the Tropical Theatre in Amsterdam.

Funding

My projects have a.o. been supported by the Fund BKVB in Amsterdam, by the Foundation Anna Cornelis Fund, by the Mondriaan Foundation, by the Prins Bernhard Cultural Foundation of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.   

Collections (selected)

Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Noordbrabants Museum, Collectie Hartkamp, Dunhill Dutch Photography, Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst, Gemeente Amsterdam, SBK, Randstad Collectie, particulieren.

Publications - Photobooks (selected)

1981 - Selfportrait: The Women’s Movement in the 1980’s published by the feminist press Sara.

1985 - Dienstmaagd des Heren – Handmaid of the Lord uitgeverij Waanders, Zwolle.

1998 - Sundays published by Thomas Rap en De Verbeelding.

1990 - Vrouwen gezocht voor mannenwerk, text Emma Brunt, published by SUA, Amsterdam.

1992 - The best traditions was published by Thomas Rap.

1996 - Voor Ogen Public Healthcare in the Amsterdam region, commissioned and published by SIGRA.

1999 - Haaglanden commision by the Chamber of Commerce The Hague.

1999 - Curaçao, an island of its own  by the Walburg Pers.

Publications - Magazines (selected)

1987 - The end of the WAO in Vrij Nederland (commission).

1988 - Carnaval Curaçao in Vrij Nederland

1988 - Studentlife in South Korea in Vrij Nederland.

1988 - 1994 - Japanese schoolsystem in Vrij Nederland.

1999 - Curaçao photo’s in VK magazine.

2000 - Hangplek Suriname, series about young people in Suriname, in VK magazine en De Standaard magazine.

2001 - Carnaval Curaçao in Prince Claus Fund magazine.

CV