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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Positions and Practice – Inspiration from Dorien Plaat’s Art

I am drawn to and influenced by many things outside of photography.  At this current moment in time, I am particularly influenced by the work of the artist Dorien Plaat.  I find her work compelling; the images portray vulnerable yet proud individuals.  Their eyes make such a strong contact with the viewer that you know they exist; she painted real people with real emotions.


Figure 1: Dorien Platt. Collages of work


Figure 2: Dorien Plaat. Transgender 1.

Their faces speak to me.  I want my work to have that impact on the viewer. I have been photographing many different people over the last few months. Some are models but most are not.  They are just ordinary people who want to feel proud of who they are and the journey they have taken. Some have a history of cancer, mastectomy and other illnesses; others have battled with mental illness and a feeling of lack of self worth. Others have never considered themselves someone that photographers would want to use for images.  All are amazed when they see how beautiful they are in images. Dorian’s artwork images below are truly inspiring to me.  They show beauty in all people.  This is where my own practice is going – beauty regardless of size, colour, race, disability, age or gender.  Real people with real emotions.


Figure 1: Plaat, D. From 2016. schilderij-en | [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 September 2016].

Figure 2: Plaat, D. Transgender 1. From 2016. home-en | [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 September 2016].

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