Astrid Zuidema Art Photography | Amsterdam

Title : Blue Blood - 2021 - (White carnation, food coloring)


Title : Covid19 - 2020 - (video installation)


[please click the play button in the image above]



44 high school exam students during Covid19 Amsterdam - 2020 video art installation.


This video installation is a collage of 44 students who graduated from high school in 2020. They received the so called ’corona diploma’, meaning that they did not have to partake in doing their final exams and received their diploma if grades were sufficient. An unprecedented necessary step taken by government during the isolation period of the first wave of Covid19.


Society came to a grinding halt as people had to isolate themselves in order to prevent high casualties caused by the Covid19 virus. The students reflect upon their inner strengths and vulnerabilities during a phase in their lives where they have been forced to look ‘inwards’, where adolescents normally would  be looking outward.

Title : heart beat - 2021 - (video installation, Jello, pacemaker)


Needle & thread.


The oldest needles from sharpened bone indicate that sewing began some 30.000 years ago. Human fingers contrived a rudimentary tool and stitched together animal skins and tendons for protective covering. In fairy tales and myths sewing can represent a patient process that leads to redemption, repairs the broken soul or mends the bewitched situation.


Sewing intricately fashions the costumes in which a culture clothes itself, symbolically evoking the garmenting both of social persona and individuality. Sewing is art and design, the surgeon’s precise stitches, the knitting of wounds. At it’s source, sewing links us back, perhaps, to the fanciful idea of the body itself as “garment” of the soul, to the spinning of life and the threads of fate.


Ed. Yu Weichao

The physical abstractions in art.


Hair follicles, fed by tiny blood vessels, lie under the scalp connecting hair with interior thoughts and longings. Hair contains DNA and thus encompasses race, gender and ethnicity. The first way we transform our identity is by trying something new with our hairstyle. Coming-of-age rites in some cultures have required the containment of youthful flowing hair by turbans or scarves. In other cultures, hairstyles require complex constructions and adornments that signify full responsibility within the tribe. Ideas about hair connect our physical being with our identity, our beliefs, and our society.


Bone refers not only to the substance of the skeleton but metaphorically to one's innermost center - the soul.
Bones connect to form our skeletal structure and our life’s essence.


Webs are about attaching, concealing, revealing and encapsulating. We even associate webs with conspiracies and lies.

A traumatized soul can defend itself with webs of schizoid fantasies. Webs connect objects, concepts, and opinions.

“Carving is easy. You just go to the skin and stop.” - Michelangelo


Objects from the natural world have interesting shapes yet are not classified as sculptures until they are carved, chiseled, or arranged intentionally by an artist. Photographers can blur this line by asking us to look closely at a tree, rock or cloud as if looking at sculpture in a gallery.


Astrid’s new series challenges viewers’ perception even further by enclosing plants in a thin nylon skin so that the branches are still visible yet transformed with metaphorical possibilities. The addition of just one new element alters her plants and stones into an unexpected hybrid existing between sculpture and photography...

...The shapes captured in these images are unique and abstract, yet cannot be removed from human connotations. Trees always resemble bodies with their upright arms and slender fingers, and in myths humans can transform into trees. Seeing a branch through the translucent surface of a nylon stocking reminds us of skin and the skeletal system beneath. Skin is the gateway of touch, and sculpture appeals to this sensual pleasure. Photographing through skin reminds us of X-rays.


In these abstracted images containing trunks, twigs, leaves, buds, and berries perhaps we see muscles, joints, arteries, organs, and nerves. We are defined superficially by our skin and profoundly by the emotions dancing beneath.


Floating silk cloths allow Zuidema to record air currents, and preserve sculptural moments that could only be captured by photography. Heavy stones pull us in the opposite direction creating delicate curves in the nylon they threaten to destroy. A mysterious sphere of hair links many of these notions; it calls out to be touched and held … a stone as light as air.

Photography is often used to capture an instant in time and freeze the dynamic moment into a static image.
It’s challenging for an artist is to depict themes that resist being frozen and instead represent the shifting nature of time.


One possibility is to photograph dried flowers and wilted leaves that imply a sense of before and after … simultaneously symbolizing life and death.  Another option for the artist is to layer images and thereby insist that objects exist only as part of the flow of time...

...taking this idea one more step, imagery can be layered before, as well as after, the camera is introduced. Astrid is interested in the soul of an image and aims to capture the traces of time and experience on natural objects, man-made objects, handmade arrangements of natural objects, human hands, leaves that remind us of fingers, hand tools (a compass) and a rebellious left hand that gets brighter as it gets further away from the viewer and shrinks into a right hand.

These photographs do not freeze the moment but show us subtle shifts that mirror the sprouting qualities of perception.

Astrid Zuidema (Tilburg, 1970)


Astrid Zuidema graduated from the KABK in The Hague in 1992. Subsequently she started working as a photographer (fashion and portrait) and took part in an exhibition with Ruud van der Peijl at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1996. Seven images (up to two meters high) were incorporated in the exhibition called 'Scanning'.


Her works were published in a great number of magazines, including Dutch, Elle, Volkskrant Magazine, Linda, Attitude, MAX, Carl’s Cars etc. She has also published some of her work in several books including Belgian Fashion Design (Ludion), Bags, a lexicon of style (Valerie Steele), Sensation (Steidl) and Buch 24 x 30 (MAK, Vienna). In 2015, together with writer Annette Wiesman and designer Tosca Lindeboom, Astrid made a book about Dutch sayings called “DE HOND IN DE POT”, the book was published by Ploegsma, acquired by schools and public libraries and is now in it’s fourth edition.


Meanwhile, her personal uncommissioned work evolved, making collages and sensitive still-lifes with strong sculptural elements. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 she took part in the group exhibition IJ Kunstcollectief at gallery Nieuw Dakota in Amsterdam organised by Edwin van den Hoek.


In 2018 and 2019 Astrid took part in Masterly The Hague, curated by Nicole Uniquole. In 2019 she was selected for the 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Award and the 12th Pollux  Award which exhibition was being held in Barcelona. Also in 2019 she was part of WAV Venice Audio-Visual Show, at the Palazzo Michiel in Venice Italy. In 2020 one of her works was displayed at the Tate Modern during #EverydayDoraMaar #TateLates organised by Tate Collective.



Astrid lives and works in Amsterdam.



Inspirational quotes by Seth Berg, Telluride, Colorado, USA.


Seth Berg on LinkedIn