This series started 8 months ago as a reaction to the fact that my wife had been diagnosed with cancer. In a single moment our lives were changed, our minds in a muddle, invaded by a thick layer of fog. Our horizon kept shifting and nearly seemed to have collapsed. The unreal uncertainty of losing your loved one felt like walking on very thin ice.
Photographing was my way of coping, finding images that could visualize my deepest fears. Being in nature gave me strength and cleared my head. Especially the landscape in the far northern part of The Netherlands bordering the Wadden Sea (Unesco World Heritage), where the land is harsh and empty and misty tidal movements determine the rhythm of life. That place felt like a translation of my inner space. It became a search for a new point of view, the subtle shifting of perspectives.
Additionally, I could draw another parallel: we undermine the resources of our bodies and land, we neglect and exhaust it, we ignore all the signs until it breaks, burns, storms, shakes, submerges. Only then do we intervene. Only then we start to think of the consequences and are able to really change.
Working completely analogue, with its slow and pure character, pointed the way. Not having the option of reviewing my work until I developed it brought me in the now. The tranquil process of printing in the darkroom became soothing and brought peace.
All images and text © Mo Verlaan
By Mo Verlaan