KALTBLUT presents: “God bless” by Lauren Raaijmakers. All fashion by Schueller de Waal. Make up by Feebie Venetiën. Models are Gijs Visser, Natasja Bökkerink, Thomas Meijerman, Wies Kruisdijk and Kamiel Scholten.
“This project is about symbolism, influence, belief and kinship. I created 5 gods, and one mythical figure (for now) from my friends and myself. They originate from character traits or subjects with which they have a connection. They were inspired by different religions and beliefs. I worked together with Schueller de Waal (clothing), Alex Conner (writer), and Feebie Venetiën (make-up artist). I wasn’t able to do this without them. I am also grateful for my friends, the gods. They have these beautiful forces and qualities, I learn from them, I find comfort with them. We are the start of a new family tree.”
My name is Lauren and photography is my main medium. Poetry, semiotics and emotions are my languages. I verbalize a feeling and I picture our words. I collect our ordinary moments because we are most likely to forget those and that frightens me.
Intimacy is my main subject and a recurring theme throughout my work. What does empathy mean in the 21st century when it seems to be easily lost? Where can we meet in the space we all share? Why are so many of us struggling with mental health issues? What is the weight we carry from our family? And where can we go to find salvation?
Some people take and some people give. Sometimes more than they can miss. There is strength in vulnerability and I use that to conquer uncertainty, fear and loneliness and turn it into something hopeful. Like the feeling you get when you are suffering and someone takes your hand. I am here to comfort you. I am here to confront you with the blunt truth. We should come together in the space we all share by going through it and holding each other close.