Meet Mireille Kools.
This photographer is quite literally a citizen of the world, born in The Netherlands and having lived there as well as Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland. She has also resided in many parts of the USA, including Texas, Louisiana, California and now, Washington. Each place influenced her in its own way and made her who she is today.
It`s not hard to imagine how her frequent moves gave her the perspective which makes her photographs so unique. “I like to photograph subjects in such a way that they contain a sense of estrangement for the beholder. Being a newcomer often, I always want to get a feeling for the peculiarity of the area, some which may have gone unnoticed by locals. Photography forces me to become acquainted with my new location on an intimate level; it is my way of ‘owning’ a new place. Seeing a new location through my lens is exciting, enervating and surprising”, she says.
Mireille has had a diverse educational and working history, studying history at the University of Leiden, The Netherland. She took video and film classes in classes in Amsterdam, and eventually worked for Dutch documentary filmmaker Willy Lindwer on the film The Fatal Dilemma. All the Visual Arts have played a large
role in her life until now but photography has been her primary fascination. It started with her first camera at age seven, learning from her uncle, the
photographer Hans Biezen, and later with other celebrated European photographers, Michael Gnade, Olga Kaloussi and Thomas Frösch. Here in Washington, she has studied with Ray Pfortner.
We`re fortunate that Mireille calls Sammamish home these days, and that she translates the wealth of her living experiences into photography with an essential sense of place. She has been a part of the Sammamish Arts Fair for a number of years and her works will be featured at the upcoming event on October 13th and 14th. You can see Fair details and examples of her work at http://sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com/ and also at her website www.koolsphoto.com .