Julie van der Vaart

Photography and Astrophysics… at first sight, they don’t seem to have much in common. Yet photographer Julie van der Vaart combines both worlds in her exceptional work Beyond Time. Inspired by theories about imaginary times, she experiments with various chemicals in her dark room, and creates images that seem to have come from the future.

Julie has always been fascinated by the notions of time, space and the unknown. She soon started to translate her visual and spatial thinking into photography. After studying in Genk and Antwerp Julie decided to learn more about Astrophysics by reading and taking a course. She translates the knowledge she gained there into images. She creates an analogue recording of what is human, the movements and details of the human body. During the development phase van der Vaart experiments with chemicals, solarization and old photographic paper, adding a spatial feel to her images. The bodies seem to dissolve into the image, and sometimes it looks as if they are just appearing. She keeps her work in black and white and sometimes a blue hue.

Apart from the human aspect, van der Vaart tries to find a literal translation of time in nature. Caves are naturally formed underground spaces that consist of chalky rock. The cone-shaped stalactites and stalagmites have been shaped through thousands of years and are still changing. When she entered the caves, Van Der Vaart often felt claustrophobic, but as time went by they became comforting spaces that at the same time engendered a strange feeling of alienation. With this series, the photographer wants to continue where Beyond Time stopped. For Les Petits Belges she selected a number of her works.

Beyond Time can be seen until 17 June in Gallery 44 Bruges.

From the series: Mountains, waves and skies

Left: Preview of the new series
Right: From the series: Beyond Time

From the series: Beyond Time

From the series: Beyond Time

From the series: Skin

Left/right: From the series: Beyond Time

From the series: Beyond Time