© Hilde Maassen

We’re delighted to introduce you to Hilde Maassen, who has been Highly Commended in the Shutter Hub Portfolio Award at FORMAT 2021. 

Shutter Hub Creative Director, Karen Harvey, selected Hilde’s project ‘Clouds revealed, in dialogue with the photographic medium’ for “the way that Hilde has taken flat photographs of the everyday phenomenon of clouds, something we see everyday but never really see beyond, and turned them into something unique and absolutely fascinating!”


© Hilde Maassen

© Hilde Maassen

© Hilde Maassen

© Hilde Maassen

I am very excited and honored to have been highly commended by Shutter Hub for my work. It was received with such enthusiasm and excitement that I immediately want to start creating new work.

At the age of eleven, I had my first photo camera and at the age of fourteen, I was introduced to the magic of the darkroom. Since then, I have been fascinated by the photographic medium. The semi-automatic process in which coincidence, circumstances, the apparatus, and personal input together lead to a result.

In my projects, I have a dialogue, playful interaction, with the photographic medium allowing happy accidents and technical imperfection. What is photography and what could be hidden inside the image during the making? Is unseen information captured and if so, how can I reveal it? Tactility, structure, contrast, the transition from one medium to another, the aspect of time and the in-between that is inextricably linked to photography are points of focus.

Based on the information in the flat photo I try to recreate depth, sound but also the moment in-between two images made. I experiment using all kind of technology such sound and augmented reality, 3D and 3D (clay) printing. This results in an interpretation, new kind of reality.

‘Magic is an attitude, which instead of taking images to orient oneself in the world, takes the world to orient oneself in the image.’ – Vilem Flusser, 2000: 9.

I take photos of clouds in keeping with the tradition of the Dutch masters, famous for dramatic paintings with heavy clouds which we call “Dutch Mountains” hanging above a low horizon with “typically Dutch light.”

Clouds are fascinating. They have a romantic, dreamy appearance but can also be terrifying and threatening. Clouds are indefinite, do not have a specified location, and are constantly flux. The work aims to draw attention to the changing clouds because they might be threatened with extinction. Clouds play an important but also a fairly unknown role in the climate discussion.


Find out more about this work here, and visit Hilde’s website here.



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