If I squeeze my eyes close enough, the waves turn into a pink sea 
rolling into the shore, row after row
The tourists become little crawling ants 
And their camera flashes are warming sunbeams peeking through the clouds

My hometown Egmond is located in the heart of the tulip fields in the Netherlands.  Each season I could see the changing colours of the fields through our window and with it, the business of my neighbour. They ended their family business last year and started to break down the bulb shed I had been looking at throughout my life. As the walls collapsed, the inside slowly started to unravel, which became the starting point for my project. 

Polderbloem is a photographic investigation into each stage of the tulip cycle in The Netherlands. Through new imagery and found footage, I shed light onthis transformation that has occurred over time. From its status as a wealth symbol in the 1600s to its current state as a mass product, from a bulb worth the value of an Amsterdam canal house, to something that is now widely available. I realise that it has become an empty industry, where the symbol of the flower no longer plays a role, where the future of the tulip cannot be guaranteed. But what remains when there is no actual presence of the flower?


The visible surface of a landscape is good at hiding its underlying secrets. Volgermeerpolder, a nature reserve and the most polluted place in the Netherland just above Amsterdam, is a good example of this. Until 1980 it was heavily polluted with household waste and illegally dumped chemical waste, including the very toxic compound dioxin. From then on the area has been under construction and because of financial reasons the municipality decide to leave the polluted soil where it was. It was covered with foil and new soil, which is supposed to form peat to encapsulate the underlying soil. Since 2011 the area is open to the public again and is used to recreate, bike, walk your dog, and serve as a habitat for birds, fish, rare plant species, and insects.

By combining archive material with new imagery, I visualize the relationship between human and land and use time to show the contradiction of the layers of the landscape.