“Life, like a river, flows with its own rhythm, carrying us on a journey filled with both tranquility and turbulence,” explains photographer Nanda Hagenaars. “In moments of calm, we are embraced by the gentle currents, as if floating effortlessly through the passage of time. It is during these moments that we find solace, and our spirits are uplifted by the serenity of the waters. However, calm waters can transform into turbulent torrents, unsettling our footing and leaving us questioning our purpose.”
With these words, Nanda Hagenaars (1988) provides us with a glimpse into her perspective on life, offering insights to understand her photographs. Hagenaars captures these ebb and flow of life through her lens. Her work can be described as poetic, intuitive, and emotional, driven by the desire to translate her feelings and emotions into images. The concept of time and timelessness has led Nanda to focus on black and white photography, a choice that adds depth and timelessness to her art.
For Nanda, the camera is more than just a simple tool; it’s a symbol of transformation. It has helped her see life in new ways, much like looking through her lens has shown her fresh perspectives. She believes in using photography as a means to grow and discover herself. “It’s not always easy to see things differently, but I make an effort to do so,” she says. This philosophy is reflected in her practice. She doesn’t just see the water; she also sees its reflection. This way of seeing extends to everything she captures, always in search of new compositions, eager to unveil hidden beauty. Nanda plays with light and shadow, creating a dance that is both rhythmic and melancholic.
«Just as the river carves its path through the landscape, so do the challenges we face shape us. The trials and tribulations, the moments of uncertainty and doubt, they all contribute to our personal evolution. They teach us resilience, patience, and the art of adaptation. We learn that life’s true beauty lies not in the absence of obstacles but in our ability to overcome them. And as we continue along our journey, we learn to trust the flow of life, knowing that, just like the river, we are forever evolving, forever moving forward.»
In Nanda Hagenaars’ world, each photograph is a reflection of this philosophy. With her lens as a guide, she invites us to join her in exploring the intricate twists and turns of the river of life, finding meaning and beauty in every shot.
Nanda Hagenaars will present one of her shots at the Collater.al Photography exhibition at the Matalon Foundation in Milan from Sept. 22-24, 2023.