The point of departure for the photographs of Ellen Kooi (b. Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 1962) is the landscape, which she transforms and uses as the backdrop for ambiguous, inexplicable events. The seemingly natural appearance of her images, which always have the spontaneity of a snapshot, belies an intricate production process involving preparatory drawings, models, lighting design and careful staging, not unlike the methods used by old Baroque masters or modern film directors. This blend of nature and artifice lends Ellen Kooi's photographs an unsettling quality and irresistible visual appeal.
Kooi uses a perfect landscape to produce dreamlike and extraordinary images. In order to create these places where ambiguous, inexplicable things happen, the artist resorts to the Dutch landscape. She suggests abstract emotions and uses reality selectively, adding a layer of psychological depth to her scenes.