Born in Holland, I migrated with my family to Australia at the age of eight. After some six weeks of sailing on the ship that brought us here, I remember standing on the deck as we approached Fremantle, our first port of call in Australia. In the excitement all around me, I suddenly felt we had come to the end of the world, and worse, that we would never find our way back to where we belonged. But I was a child, and those sensations passed, soon to be forgotten.

Years later, grown up and married, my interest in photography developed along with my compulsion to capture images of my two children as they developed. Soon, I found myself drawn to landscape photography. I learnt that there is much more to this genre of photography than trying to make an image that does justice to a breath-taking scene. It also has everything to do with our human relation to place, which becomes significant through a sense of belonging, of being embedded in and at home within a place. The awareness that I could not feel this in the Australian landscape had existed for some years, and I could see that my photographs of nature showed something was lacking. Travelling beyond Australia, through Europe, North America, and some countries of the Middle East, with my camera always close to my eye, produced a different character in my landscape photographs. The more we travelled, the more I felt at home in the northern hemisphere, and this increased my confidence in continuing to make and share my images.

Finally, in 2007 and again in 2010, we sailed to the far north of Europe and the Arctic. In Svalbard, and later in Greenland, I became overwhelmed by the awe-inspiring nature of my environment. The experience increased the clarity of my seeing, and my conviction that the realism of photography is my best means for expressing the mystery and power of the landscapes I am drawn to.
Petra