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  • Sieglinde Van Damme

Re-imagine what else is possible: artist statement.


The overarching theme in my work is to re-imagine what else is possible, and what does that even mean? When I choose a subject I explore how I can present it to you in a way that makes its actual identity less obvious so I can open the door for new ones. When I learn a new technique I follow the rules first, and then I wonder what else I can do with that.

When I am presented with a boundary, I observe its meaning and then I want to know what meaning is present on the other side. When I am presented with living life in a box, I look for the instructions located on the outside of the box (and I'm likely not coming back in).


When I am presented with a given reality, I set out to create a new reality. A better one, a more open one, a more fulfilling one .... (oops, artist statement blurs the line with life statement 😉)




In my work you will not find a razor-sharp image of a real-life scene taken with the latest high-tech digital camera because that closes all doors to imagine other possibilities. Instead, I explore the combination of various digital and analog media, low-fidelity cameras, double exposures on film, alternative photo processes, mixed media and more.


I create soft-focused, veiled and layered images that may resemble a true to life scene, but ultimately serve to construct a new idea of what could 'also' be real. In other words: what else is possible? It is an open invitation for you to define and re-define what is in front of you. Not just what you see, but what you experience or feel as well.


In the end, it is all about defining new realities and new identities. Not in the sense of "who are you," but rather "who or what can you be?"



My story might inspire you to think more about your own


Truth is I never gave the idea of “identity” - let alone my own identity – much thought until I migrated from Europe to the US and my most official source of identification became an alien registration number.  Quite sobering, though easy enough to laugh away when put into its due bureaucratic perspective. 


Much more poignant was the fact that I arrived here with a firmly rooted background, including a good sense of who I was and what I stood for, or so I thought. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was not able to fully transplant Sieglinde in Europe, to Sieglinde in the US.


I was taken out of context and now had to adapt to a new society and re-imagine who I was along the way ... including who I wanted—or could be—on this side of the ocean. 


It became an interesting journey in debating which new values to adopt, which old beliefs to shed and which “idea of me” was most authentic and real. After 22 years, I realize I have become a one-of-a-kind hybrid; a tourist in both places, my home country and my new home base alike.


Geographical relocations aside, I am also the most conscious “state of me” I have ever been which unapologetically paved a highway to personal empowerment, fulfillment and success!



I want my work to serve as a great conversation starter and an invitation for you to open your mind and equally expand your horizons.  Until, ultimately, it serves as an inspiring catalyst to unlock your own imagination to other possibilities, a bigger potential; your own personal, happy, success story within reach. Permission to play, and no need to play it safe!