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Thu, 30 May


The Margate School

Rogier Maaskant | sense of presence

In an unprecedented way the photographs show us a coexisting world with aesthetics that are characteristic for the beauty and unpredictability of nature

Rogier Maaskant | sense of presence
Rogier Maaskant | sense of presence

Time & Location

30 May 2024, 11:00 – 06 Jun 2024, 16:00

The Margate School, 31-33 High St, Margate CT9 1DX, UK

About the Event

Join us for the Private View on Friday 31 May, 6 to 8pm

Insects play a vital role in our lives but their important role often remains underexposed. How often do they not escape our attention, especially the nocturnal ones? However understandable this is, as in our modern lives inconspicuousness is not a highly valued quality, for a whole range of species it is of utmost importance.

In an unprecedented way the images show us a coexisting world with aesthetics that are characteristic for the beauty and unpredictability of nature.

All above our heads. A world that is modest yet spectacular, worldly yet magical and common yet extraordinary.

Rogier Maaskant says: "The majority of images was made in and around Rotterdam, where I live. I hope they’ll find their way into the world to reach a bigger audience. To create a better view on our surroundings, how one can relate to nature on a different level and last but not least: to show how much joy and wonder nature can provide."

With an estimated 250,000 different species, moths constitute a significant portion of the class Insecta. Insects, the largest group on Earth with an estimated 5.5 million species, play a crucial role in the ecosystem, though only one in five has been named and described. These images offer a glimpse into a fraction of this immense diversity. Despite their daily contribution to the sustainability of life on our planet, their numbers are rapidly declining due to human activities.

The compositions, dictated by the insects themselves, reveal nature's role as a magnificent "art director," "set dresser," and "stylist." They somehow seem to resonate with our primal instinct for aesthetics as we are all interconnected with nature. All photographs are single exposures, with no image alterations, making these images not only an exploration of the limits and of photography but also a tribute to luck and chance as integral components of our lives.

In June 2024, these photos will be compiled in a book, sense of presence, published by The Eriskay Connection

Rogier Maaskant

Instagram: @rogiermaaskant

Twitter:  @rogiermaaskant

Vimeo: rogiermaaskant

Rogier Maaskant's upbringing unfolded in the tranquility of a rural village, surrounded by nature, before he made a move to the dynamic city of Rotterdam. Initially immersing himself in the study of architecture, a convergence of circumstances led him to pivot towards photography—an expedient and more autonomous medium—at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Throughout his career, Maaskant has cultivated a diverse repertoire, showcasing his prowess in portraiture and the poetic nuances of 'street photography’. His lens captures the theatrical elements of everyday life, emphasising the 'odd one out,' social interactions and various human characteristics. His body of work illuminates lives and events existing outside the limelight. In a notable exhibition at the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam in 2007, Maaskant unveiled a captivating series of images featuring insects, predominantly caddisflies. This collection presented the species in an unprecedented light—guileless yet graceful, revealing their beauty against a nocturnal backdrop.

As Maaskant witnessed the growing popularity of photography and noticed the tendencies to fall into the trap of repetitiveness, he felt compelled to reconsider his artistic trajectory. To achieve this, he initiated diverse initiatives such as a guerrilla exhibition, organised a charitable art auction and initiated an aid collection effort for Syria across seven Art Academies.

In 2020, Maaskant returned to the insect series, recognising an enduring enchantment in the unseen world that remained undiscovered by so many. This time, he explored a broader spectrum of these mysterious species—moths, mosquitoes, dragonflies, and more—unveiling a realm of magic and richness beyond the visible.

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