After her studies at Nyenrode University (BBA), Annelies Damen started a promising career in the business world on a high level (sales, marketing and real estate). But there was an inner call: “Photography became my main focus while traveling through Africa for a year from Morocco to South Africa. I decided to change my career and started a study at the Academy of Photography in Amsterdam".
In 2006 Damen graduated at the Academy of Photography in Amsterdam. From her studio based in the same city, the world is her working field for autonomous photo projects. Using this medium, Damen has sensitively captured strong female imagery from a myriad of cultures, which connects both to complement their surrounding landscape, creating a sort of sublime interaction in her work. As an artist she demonstrates the symphony between the female form in natural or architectonic settings, creating a painterly meeting of shadows, shapes and lines that are steeped in poetic beauty.
Damen started a new photo project in Lamu. The island which feels like ‘her home’ in Africa. The moment she puts her feet on the Kenyan Archipelago 20 years ago, the poetic feel of the place triggered her creativity. Lamu has maintained much of the unspoiled Swahili culture for centuries, which inspires dreams of the past. The slow pace of living, the surrounding Indian ocean, the organic food, the Swahili architecture but above all, she is intrigued by the women she meets who are the inspiration for this new series. Every stay in Lamu brings Damen into a closer and more personal contact with the women she meets and thus the East-African continent. Her experience on the island is unparalleled and addictive.