Two decades ago my fascination with Africa began to evolve when I spent 6 months in Gabon working on a project, after my graduation from Nyenrode Business school. The culture, stunning nature and the people with their special wit and humour intrigued me from the very beginning. I returned to this magnificent continent to travel from Morocco to South Africa and was deeply affected by the variety of landscapes and the beauty of the women that I encountered. Since this journey I knew I wanted to become a photographer to depict the independence, pride and sensuality of the African women. The very different colours and aspects of Africa keep me going back again and again. In these twenty years I went through personal and professional growth and I realise Africa has been a fundamental part of my evolution. With these series I want to pay tribute to this magical continent. (Photographs are from a series of 9)
Annelies Damen graduated from the Academy of Photography, Amsterdam in 2006, after transforming her career from business to fine art photography. Using this medium, Damen has skillfully and sensitively captured strong female imagery from a myriad of cultures, which both connect to complement their surrounding landscape creating a sort of sublime interaction in her work. Damenâ€™s photography has taken her across many continents; her favourite is Africa where she describes the magic, proud independence and sensuality of women as the inspiration for her work. As an artist she demonstrates the symphony between the female form in natural settings creating a painterly meeting of shadows, shapes and lines that are steeped in organic beauty. Damen has already exhibited worldwide, including shows in New York, Paris, Mumbai and Amsterdam. Her work is widely collected and has been exhibited in various institutions including Sothebyâ€™s, Noorderlicht, White Space, PhotoFever, Scope Art Miami and Gorcums Museum. Her work is currently represented by Rademakers Gallery in Amsterdam.