K. Liliane Bucquoye ( ‘liliane_b_art’ ): “Photography, like any other form of art, is an adventure, a constant search and is about accepting new challenges”

Liliane Bucquoye is an unconventional photographer with all that this word entails. She often shakes instagram with her modern, but deeply meaningful and sensitive photos. There is symbolism in her captures and there is a brilliant mind behind them. Below are her thoughts on photography and women.

This photo almost made me cry (photo in header). She seems so unwary and oblivious to the world around her (even the background is neutral) that it makes one yearn for such a carefree, childlike immersion. It looks as if it was a momentary capture. What’s the story behind it?
Originally this photo was actually an exercise to practice on capturing movement. But when I was taking it, it evolved and I started to manipulate it a bit more. It pictures the character of my daughter, she’s quite an introvert person, and this photo shows that aspect clearly. I loved the idea of the swing, because whenever I’m on one, it takes me back to my childhood. The photo pictures the precarious balance between the careless feeling of being young and oblivious, and her inner thoughts and concerns.

Your gallery is a thing to behold. I love its variety and I gather so do you…you state it in your description after all…”street – portrait –art – nature”. Between you and me, are you partial towards one of these categories?
I’m still searching for my subjects of preference, I feel like I’m still in constant development as an artist. I find it difficult (boring 🙂 ) to only focus on one subject, I’d lose interest. The wide spectrum of subjects gives me inspiration, I discover new things every day by keeping an open mind and eye towards the world.

Tell us a few things about Liliane, the photographer. Have you had any studies?
I’ve always had a passion and fervent interest in art in general. I also paint and make collages. At 18 years old, I studied graphic arts and interior architecture. Last year, I followed a course of photography, but I was a photographer long before then. I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, so the passion was always there. I’d like to expand my knowledge of photography by following a Photoshop-course in the near future.

You work almost exclusively in black and white. What is its charm to you?
I don’t have a real explanation for it, 95% of the time I transform my pictures in black and white automatically. It just feels better. I found coloured photos often (depending of the subject) too “too much, too chaotic”, you often lose part of the subject, of the image because colour distracts you from the real content. Finally, by stripping an image of its colours, I notice contrasts, patterns and textures a lot more. Creating monotones or black-and-white pictures helps me to tell the story behind an image much better and gives it a timeless feeling.

When it comes to portraits, those of women are proportionally more. I feel like it is an exploration of or rather a hymn to women. A conscious decision or a subconscious act?
Women are indeed a subject I very often choose for my art (also in my paintings and collages). I think this has something to do with the simple fact that I am a woman and I experience a lot of things that I want to share in some way. Too often we let people walk over us and we just hide our problems with a smile. We let people deceive us too often, or we consciously want to be deceived, to avoid any problems. I’m sure not all women think the same way about this, that they appreciate the way I picture things. Every woman has a different experience in being a woman, and that’s fine.

Often women don’t question these facts, because it’s so ingrained in our culture, and our society unfortunately doesn’t want to accept that equality between men and women is important. Men sometimes agree that there’s a problem, but they don’t take any actions to solve it, and we just continue playing the game and don’t stand up for ourselves.

I think that every woman deserves respect and an equal place in society, and I hope this will someday be the case. Obviously there are some fundamental differences between men and women, there’s no doubt about that. The perception of all matters in life is different for both sexes.

The photos I take of women are pure emotion. It’s an expression of my feelings of how I experience life as a woman. It’s an ode to women, I want to make it clear that they should stand up for themselves. Sometimes my photos are a cry for acknowledgement and sometimes even anger or frustration. But occasionally they show the beauty, and the “being” of a woman.

The world around you seems to fascinate you as much as the world within us. How challenging is it to depict emotions through photography?
I don’t find this difficult at all. I take my pictures from my own point of view, and I automatically show my soul through my photos, without really thinking about it.

Lots of your photos are (thought-)provoking. Unusual themes, intense contrasts and gros plans that have an “audacity” and a defiance about them. I would call it a “shock attempt”. Would you put limits on your photography?
There are no limits to my photography, but there are restrictions to the photos that I publish, unfortunately. In the past I’ve had quite a few negative reactions, and some of my pictures have even been removed from social media. This demonstrates to me that the world is much less open-minded than it claims to be.

You deconstruct body and city parts, but at the end of the day you’re a storyteller. What are your plans for the future photography-wise?
I sometimes think of taking the leap to colour photography. This will make my stories a lot different. My passion in that case would focus itself more on working with contrasts. Photography, like any other form of art, is an adventure, a constant search and is about accepting new challenges. This is probably the reason why I like to photograph such a variety of subjects.
My dream is to one day merge my photos and my paintings. I don’t know yet how I’m gonna do this, but it’s another challenge.

The interview with Liliane Bucquoye was given on December 12th, 2016