The island of Sporenburg
Wendelien Daan won Gold in the single image category of My Backyard 4. The Dutch photographer trained at the Artez School of Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands where she graduated in Fashion Design before studying photography at The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. Describing herself as a a storyteller, she was drawn to photography because, she says, "I can busy myself with stories and imagination".
Wendelien's backyard, and the backdrop for her winning image, is the island of Sporenburg in Amsterdam. A former harbour district, it has been transformed into a contemporary architectural urban neighbourhood. The area attracted young couples when it was first built, many of whom have had children who have subsequently grown up in the area. The winning image is the start of a series which Wendelien began working on in 2008. " It has fascinated me to watch these children turn into young adults over the years," she says.
"The images were perfect for the My Backyard competition so, with my goal of getting extra exposure in London and the UK in mind, I entered," she explains. Wendelien feels that competitions are a great way for photographers to start representing themselves to creatives in a country in which they are not yet well known. Her main goal now is to create more international exposure for her work and to get the opportunity to work on international assignments.
Wendelien's next project is an 80 page story for the French art and photography magazine IDOMENEE in December 2008.