Margaret Lansink (1962) describes her approach as follows: “who we are is defined by our surroundings and our (family) history” and she continues “I often feel like a bystander; looking at what is happening from the outside; how and why the other and I react to each other the way we do. In my work I investigate these relationships and try to bridge the personal and universal ”.
She is a late bloomer, but it is precisely this that brings enormous life experience and depth to the work. Her perspective isn’t intellectual but entirely based on feelings, intuition and emotions. Those emotions are recognizable, she questions herself, she questions the essence of being a woman.
Lansink works from a deep artistic passion and hands-on practice. She designs her own books, she integrates different techniques and feels a deep connection with nature.
Even though the work deals with her own experiences, Lansink avoids direct representation of her emotions. On the contrary, she often opts for a symbolic approach: her penultimate series “On the Borders of Nothingness – On the Mend” dealt with the recovering relationship with daughter. In her images she referred to the 15th century Japanese Kintsugi technique, in which broken ceramics are repaired with gold, a reflection on the transience or how the restored becomes more valuable than the original object. Symbolism and a hint of mystery are a constant throughout her work
Her most recent work Body Maps is a plea for Body Positivity. She sees an unease about the body and the aging process amongst many of her peers (or should I say fellow sufferers?). They hide behind cosmetics, behind clothing or reach for cosmetic surgery. The spark for this topic came quite literally when she was confronted in Portugal with the destruction of nature from fires in olive tree hearths. She took not only photos, but equally characteristic she took charcoal with her, which she uses in her creative process. So here too the link with evolving nature.
The title and guideline for the exhibition is the eponymous poem Boby Maps by the South African poet Ingrid De Kok from the collection Seasonal Fires 2006. The last sentence of the poem about the relationship with your body summarizes everything, and Lansink takes this as a guideline:
Take it Trace it Map it Remember.
Photographer and publisher of the highly recommended (now sold out) book Body Maps Valentino Barachini (1963) writes about her work:
The Map of a Weathered Body.
The skin does not lie:
it’s a person’s age map;
it’s the paper
where his choices, failures, passions, fears
are written on.
The body defines ourselves,
it stratifies and heals passing of time
under veils, blankets and hidings.
As the trunk to the trees.
it is crumpled
or turns thin and transparent,
The Body Maps exhibition is an installation with various techniques and approaches that Lansink brings together into an inspiring whole – certainly worthwhile.
Margaret Lansink : Body Maps
Until June 26, 2021
Provinciestraat 11, 2018 Antwerp
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 2- 6 pm and every day by appointment
T 0032 475 56 22 83
Several articles have already been published in The Eye Of Photography on Margaret Lansink – a selection can be found here:
For those who are interested by the poet Ingrid De Kok: