Amsterdam presents the latest project by photographer Cuny Janssen, entitled "My Grandma Was A Turtle". This refers to the Turtle clan of the matriarchal Delaware tribe of Native Americans in Oklahoma. In 2008, Janssen visited the village of Bartlesville in Oklahoma to photograph children of Native American ancestry and their surroundings. She was curious to see whether there was anything about their origins to be seen in todays Native American children. Her photos of people and her landscape images are relaxed, timeless and remarkable for their subtle lyricism.
Cuny Janssen focuses her lens almost exclusively on children and unspoilt nature. Her landscape pictures are taken in the same environment in which her portrait subjects live. The children in the photos look straight into the camera without reservation. Their candour and the beauty of the surrounding country perfectly match the tranquillity and natural ease exuded by her photography. Trust and an ability to open up to direct experience are essential aspects of the way Janssen works.
Cuny Janssens photography fits in a long-established tradition in Dutch art and culture of focusing totally on everyday objects, in which appearance and insight merge together.
Cuny Janssen (1975) graduated in 2000 at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht. Two years later she won second prize in the Prix de Rome for photography. Most of her work is produced on her travels, including India (2000), Macedonia (2003), Iran (2004), South Africa (2005), Japan (2008, 2009, 2010) and lately to the United States.
This exhibition is accompanied by a volume entitled "My Grandma Was A Turtle", with texts by Nicky Michael and Sybren Kuiper (Snoeck Verlag).
Museum De Pont is presenting a selection of photos taken by Cuny Janssen while on the Japanese island of Amami in 2007. The show runs from 20 March to 23 May and is accompanied by a publication.
"My Grandma was a Turtle" is on show from 2 April to 2 May 2010 at Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.