Dutch Masters of Light, Capturing Light and Shade | Head On Photo Festival

Dutch Masters of Light, Capturing Light and Shade

Hendrik Kerstens, Erwin Olaf

Customs House (ground floor)

Exhibition Dates:

17 March 2016 to 29 May 2016

Exhibition Description

The Consulate General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Sydney is proud to present Dutch Masters of Light, an exhibition which brings the famous Dutch light to life through contemporary portraits and landscapes. Inspired by the great Renaissance tradition of manipulating light and shade, Dutch Masters of Light reinterprets the style of celebrated Dutch artists including Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer in a striking series of portraits by contemporary photographers, Hendrik Kerstens and Erwin Olaf. As a counterpoint, the extraordinary luminous quality of Dutch light in the landscape is explored in Hollands licht, a film by Pieter-Rim de Kroon and Maarten de Kroon. In each work, the play of light and shade creates dialogues which immerse viewers in compelling relationships and challenge their emotions.

This exhibition is part of a series of events which mark the 400th anniversary of the first Dutch contact with Western Australia. On 25 October 1616, Dirk Hartog made landfall with his ship the Eendracht at Dirk Hartog Island, in the Shark Bay area.

About the Photographers

Erwin Olaf has had numerous important group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including George Eastman House, Rochester, USA; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem; Kunsthalle, Winterthur, Switzerland and the Museum of the City of New York, New York.

Olaf's visually sophisticated and conceptually provocative style has been embraced by both the editorial and advertising world. In 2010 Louis Vuitton commissionesd Olaf for a portrait series in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In 2012 Olaf shot the campaign for luxury fashion brand Bottega Veneta. In 2013, Erwin Olaf's design for the new national side of the Dutch euro coins was selected from 12 designs by competing artists.

Hendrik Kerstens’ photographs were created from the desire to capture the relationship between every day scenes and events, projected against the images of Dutch painters of the seventeenth century. He extensively uses his daughter Paula in his images and the portraits are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photographs, its clarity and the characteristic ‘Dutch’ light all combine to create this impression. Kerstens creates a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present.

Hendrik Kerstens earned a Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize in 2008 from the National Portrait Gallery in London. He also has had numerous important group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including the Danziger Gallery in Germany 2013, and galleries in Amsterdam, London, New York and Los Angeles. His photographs are included in the collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Erasmus University Rotterdam and in several well-known private collections.

Customs House, Ground Floor is open: 

Mon - Fri 8am-12midnight

Sat 10am-12midnight

Sun 11am-5pm

3 other Head On Photo Festival Exhibitions - Levels 1 & 2: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm

Exhibition Space

Dates and Times

17 March 2016 to 29 May 2016

Open Hours