Dreaming is of all time and for all ages. The youth dreams about scoring goals in a football final while wearing an Ajax shirt like Marco van Basten used to do, dancing with the ball on the pitch. Others dream of spotlights, the stage, swirling in a tutu, like prima-ballerina Michaela DePrince once dreamed. These latent fantasies become reality by studying, hard work, discipline, perseverance and to excel. The current talent of the Dutch National Ballet Academy deserves a stage. That is why I want to portray them on wet plates with the collodion process from 1851, in the original costumes from the pinnacle of the Dutch National Ballet. By means of light painting with a spotlight I want to illuminate the dancers for a whole minute, this causes multiple dance movements to be visible on a sing take.

In the 19th century the American photographer Muybridge captured movements with this process: this inspired  Philip Glass to compose the opera ‘The Photographer’. Similarly Picasso and Man Ray ‘painted’ with a torch, which was captured photographically. These artists have inspired me to do this project. The combination of the dancers movements and the spotlight makes for a dreamy and romantic image.

This is not the first time lightpainting on wetplate collodion.
Francis Frith‘s assistant Francis Wenham writes in the Liverpool and Manchester Photographic Journal -5 april 1858:

“While on his Egyptian expedition with Mr. Frank Frith, they came across a piece of sculpture that was not only in a dark place, but was, as it were, round a corner from the entrance passage, in about as unmanageable a position as can well be imagined,- however, being desirous of obtaining a picture of it, Mr. Wenham was determined not to be baffled, and procuring two looking—glasses, and stationing an assistant at the entrance with one of them, he directed a mass of the sun’s rays along the passage, while receiving them upon a second mirror, he again changed the course of the rays, and being unable to illuminate the whole of the subject at once, by keeping the second mirror in constant motion, so as to paint the figures as it were with the light, a photograph was actually obtained.”