Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk
Lens Magazine|August 2021
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk is a Dutch fine-art photographer. Her work is inspired by Old Master painters.
JOSE JEULAND

Learning about art history from a young age, Woud-Binnendijk combines the Chiaroscuro principle and the Sfumato technique to emulate the traditional manner of the Dutch golden age masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Woud-Binnendijk, Born in the midseventies, is a mother of five and 100% addicted to coffee. She is a self-taught, sensitive, and strong artist with an infinite creative urge who is always full of patience to grasp 'the other side' of a person. After graduating as a Goldsmith, Gemmy studied Multimedia Design. In 2016 she began practicing photography, and it has taken over her life. Attracted by the same light of the old Dutch masters, she re-discovered her passion for painting and drawing. Using the same chiaroscuro techniques, she creates depth. By stacking colors and color tones, she makes softand elusive transitions. The combination of the inherent love for people and animals with a strong urge to create composes contemporary artwork in the light of the past.

Gemmy depicts her talents via a variety of artworks. Whatever the subject, her constant urge for perfection rises to exhibit the ever-present beauty in life, the way she sees it. In addition to beauty, the main themes of her work are suffering and loneliness and love, and trust. Revolving these motifs, she gives form to her struggles through her artistry.

For many people, the pressure to belong becomes dominant at a very young age; it is then, she believes, that essential life issues such as being content with yourself and finding your passion are forgotten.

Enchanted by her intense beauty, Melanie Gaydos became Gemmy's ambassador for the project.

In the rest of the artist's oeuvre, we see that perfection is a guiding principle. Scenes are always meticulously portrayed and are often reminiscent of paintings by the old masters of the past and the present. Gemmy presents, like no other, the beauty of the combination of technique and her emotions.

José Jeuland: Many thanks, Gemmy, for taking the time for this interview. It's a pleasure featuring your unique, outstanding artworks, influenced mainly by the Masters' artistic style. Let's start with your background in photography. I remember seeing your work for the first time in an advertising video about your photography classes, and it was awe-inspiring. Can you share with Lens Magazine's readers your journey in photography? What was the main thing that drew you into being a professional artistic photographer? Did you come from a creative family?

Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk: Thank you! It's a pleasure having this interview. I was drawing and painting a lot from an early age; I was always busy creating. My grandma had the same creative spirit, so I loved spending time with her. Sewing clothes, gluing boxes together to build a house, creating was just as important to me then as it is now.

I graduated from Goldsmith, worked in multimedia design in the early days of the internet, and kept being creative while starting a family. After a few years, things changed in my personal life, a breakup, a new home, and a new life, I also had some physical issues, and I had to give up painting.

At that point, I had to reinvent my creative life. Five years ago, I bought a camera and started experimenting with photography; it wasn't love at first sight, but that changed when I followed a fine-art workshop that inspired me and changed everything!

All the things I've been doing in the past fell into the right place. I can use my camera to paint, tell stories and play with light. Even crafting has a purpose now, and I can find myself enjoying photos editing. That day, as I joined the workshop, I really found my passion.

J. J.: What led you to focus on this Master's style specifically?

G. W. B.: From an early age, I always loved historical art paintings, composition, dramatic characters, and light had a significant impact on telling a story or mood. When I painted, I always tried to play with light in the way; I think everything fell in place for me, and it was natural to find my way in this niche of the Master's artistic fine art photography.

J. J.: Can you point on a specific moment through the past years that was a Key Point in developing your career?

G. W. B.: I can't point to a specific moment. After the fine art workshop, every shoot I do is another key point in my journey of getting better, learning, and developing.

J. J.: For creating this unique photography style, you obviously need to have a deep knowledge of the Master's work, including a high technique in portrait photography. Would you say it came from your studies at Goldsmiths, University of London?

G. W. B.: The knowledge did not explicitly come from my studies at Goldsmiths University; I think everything I've learned is a combination from studies during the years, workshops, online courses, and the simple things constructing the everyday life. They are all significant and play a role in my knowledge. In my projects, I like to create every detail, prop, or set by myself.

It's not always doable due to time pressure or the items' cost, but it's becoming my own complete creation and a part of me. Every image is entirely part of my creation.

J. J.: Where do the ideas for new projects come from? Can you describe the workflow in your creation from the concept point to the final outcome? And how long it takes from the idea to the finalized project?

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