Ellen Kooi produces photographs that are a curious blend of documentation and psychology of the Dutch landscape. These panoramas are carefully staged. Kooi works in the manner of a film director, making preliminary sketches, designing the location and lighting, and positioning her human subjects. Through elaborate lighting and the help of double and triple light exposures, Kooi conveys moods of romanticism, melancholy and spirituality in the landscape that surrounds her characters. Despite the size and the involved production method behind these photoworks, she manages to preserve in each piece the surprise and spontaneity of a snapshot.
Ellen Kooi blends her subjects into the places that they inhabit. In these new photographs, women and children contribute a feminization to the natural landscape. In the photograph entitled Almere Ophelia a contemporary woman floats through the famous locks and canals of Holland as if out of John Everett Millais’ Pre-Raphaelite painting. In another photograph, Penningsveer-riet, a young girl stands in a field with eyes closed and lets her self be consumed and in turn transformed by the wind.
As with other pieces in the show, Kooi fuses her classical compositions with a documentary style and a perfectly pitched technique. She conveys the conflicting impulses which characterize life today: the constant changes it undergoes, the rapid shifts in moods and conditions.