Awoiska van der Molen ( 1972 in Groningen, NL) is a Dutch artist working with the medium of photography.
The practice of Awoiska van der Molen is informed by an intuitive approach to image making and her interest in the intangible qualities of her subjects: a search for the unspoilt core. This search has been a reoccurring motif in her work seen in her early works which includes portraits and photographs of urban environments.
Since 2009, van der Molen has taken black and white, abstracted images in nature. Spending long periods of time in solitude in remote landscapes, she slowly uncovers the identity of the place, allowing it to impress upon her its specific emotional and physical qualities. Using her personal experience within the landscape for her creative process, she instinctively searches for a state of being in which the boundary between herself and her surroundings blur. The few images that travel back with her offer a visceral and elusive ambiguity. Their complexity resists a generative reading of place by framing its essential parts anew. Van der Molen often employs a nuanced tonal palette that displaces the perceptions of space, distance and time. Without titles or any indications of location, her large-scale silver gelatine prints recreate her personal experiences in the landscape for the viewer and remain open to interpretation. Van der Molen’s analogue pictures are all printed by hand in the dark room, continuing the intimate, laborious sequence of slow processes and creating a unique stillness that emanates from her work.
In 2017 van der Molen was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize and was she the recipient of the Larry Sultan Photography Award 2017. She received the Japanese Hariban Award in 2014 and was finalist at the Hyères Festival International de Mode et de Photographie in France in 2011. Her first monograph Sequester was nominated for the Paris Photo / Aperture First Book Prize in 2014.
Van der Molen has taken part in numerous exhibitions including Pier24 Photography (San Francisco) Huis Marseille (Amsterdam) Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt) FoMu (Antwerp) Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam) and Kyotographie (Kyoto). Her first major museum solo show was held at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam in 2016. Her work is represented in public and museum collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Photography in Seoul and Fotomuseum The Hague.
Awoiska van der Molen graduated with a MFA in Photography at the St. Joost Academy, Breda in the Netherlands.