Scarlett Hooft Graafland
Two Trucks, 2010-2011
Happiness, Commission for Krug
Sweating Sweethearts, 2004
Balloon Line, 2007, performance with Gastón Ugalde
Out Of Continuum, 2006
Lemonade Igloo, 2007
Polar Bear, 2007
Vanishing Traces, 2006
Green 2, 2004
I am mostly interested how local people survive who live in such harsh circumstances – the Inuit in the extreme cold, endless winters on the one hand, and also [the] Bolivians who live in the Altiplano in the highlands of Bolivia. On the borders of the salt desert, it seems almost impossible to be able to make a living. I like to experience nature as such a strong force. We humans might think we ‘rule the world’ but at the end of the day we are just a tiny fraction.
I like to play with this idea in some of my photos, to place elements in the landscape and create odd relationships by combining the ‘man-made’ and the natural as a fragmented story. – Scarlett Hooft Graafland ( 2010 Don’t Panic Magazine Interview)
About the Artist
Scarlett Hooft Graafland takes analogue photographs, prints them straight from the negative and never uses Photoshop. The artist is fascinated by remote, unusual and sometimes even inhospitable locations. She went to Salar de Uyunu in the Bolivian Andes, the largest salt desert, she travelled with the Inuit across the sea ice of Igloolik on the Arctic plains of northern Canada, moved around Southern China and the lava fields of Iceland. Her interventions on the landscape are temporary and leave no trace behind them. (wemakemoneynotart)
In a short time span of just five years, Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s photographic works have reached important international platforms for photography. This is particularly remarkable because her eclectic education did not include photography. She is, first and foremost, a sculptor who is accustomed to making concept-based works in series. She is also a researcher and a pioneer. When acquiring knowledge for one of her sculptural expeditions, she explores the depth, as well as the breadth of her subject.
Scarlett Hooft Graafland is fascinated by those places on earth where the landscape is unspoilt and improbably vast, and is inhabited by people whose lifestyle is subordinated to it. Yet the beauty of such environments is never the main theme of her work, although it does remain a subject, taking its role as a setting for a sculptural intervention. Her arrangements fit within the genius loci and are connected to the location’s characteristics, either by analogy or by contrast. The relationship is never farfetched or complex. The cotton candy in the Bolivia series, for instance, constitutes a contrast to the salt plains in the desert. Thanks to this simplicity, the work is never in a state of conflict with nature. On the contrary, the beauty of nature permeates the work with a sense of the sublime and ethereal. However whimsical the attributes may be, harmony with the surroundings remains intact. (Tineke Reijnders, art critic)
Sculptor and Photographer Scarlett Hooft Graafland (1973, Maarn, The Netherlands) graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 1999 in the Autonomous Textiles monumental arts programme. She then completed postgraduate studies in Belzalel, Jerusalem and a Master’s in sculpture in Parsons, New York.
She has since become an internationally acclaimed photographer with numerous exhibitions, prizes and nominations to her name. Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions all over Europe and as part of group shows at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the Musée D’Orsay, Paris amongst others.