Nienke Wind

The world of Nienke Wind is full of miracles and fairy-tale scenes and through her work she is letting you in on her experience of this world. The perception of an image can be established in a fraction of time. By looking at the work of Wind you can feel yourself directly drawn into this new world that she has created. Her images are dreamy, but refer to the here and now: it is a world where she combines girlish innocence with a certain form of imperfection. The eternal desire for the aesthetics of imperfection is what makes her images standout and make you want to take a closer look. It is a research on aesthetics; soft, but raw at the same time – a research for the animal instinct within the human being.

‘An image has to tell a story; it must create an interest and touch you, a beautiful aesthetic image, yet at the same time raising questions. That is what I am aiming for.’

In the series “Sleeping Beauty” Wind examined different contradictions; themes we are all struggling with in daily life and what excites us. Themes such as dreams and the unknown versus the reality, esthetics versus imperfection and being at peace versus restlessness.

“The feeling of the emptiness that roars around in our society and how everybody is trying to perceive something and find balance at all costs was a big inspiration in my work. In my area I see more than often people who are over stimulated, empty and burned out. There are so many expectations that we have to live up to, that it feels like a massive weight is pressing down on you. It confuses a lot of people and makes their longing to the past stronger, the time where it was all better and more easygoing at a slow pace: the past gets romanticized and becomes a dreamlike reality.”

Wind has chosen to exhibit her work in pairs: every diptych expresses the contradictions that we struggle with in this society and the longing for better times. This also appears very strong in the title of the series: Sleeping Beauty. It depicts the state of sleepiness most of us are living in. Feeling numbed because of the pressure of what we all must be and losing the ability to live in the here and now combined with the longing for the beauty of the past that we romanticize. The diptych tells us a story which we all can relate to on different personal and emotional levels.

After completing the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen in 2003, Wind worked for a various range of clients: from magazines to advertising agencies. After the Art Academy, Wind finished a study of film sciences at the University of Groningen to approach the creation of images more scientifically.

Due to her different approach to fashion photography – which is praised by fashion designers – she received various nominations and prizes from the fashion world. She shifted her focus towards making photographic documentaries in which she captured the world in a scenic way using social themes. She made these documentaries in India, New York and Barcelona.

Still, the love for fashion combined with the urge to capture the world around her in her own way remained. By completing the study ‘Mode Design’ at Academy Artemis, she has revamped her love for the fashion photography.

Nienke has been teaching at the Fotoacademie for 10 years and has been a lecturer at the Academy Artemis in Amsterdam since 2015, where she teaches in Fotostyling, Art History and Photography. She still works with various Dutch fashion designers and artists. For her own projects Nienke works with different stylists and designers.