Tilly Schilperoort (1957, Willemstad, Curaçao)
I’ve lived all over the country, but I’ll never leave Bergen. I settled here almost 20 years ago after falling in love with its woods and beach, all the art that goes on here and the ‘gezellige terrasjes’ where all the locals meet and mingle.
Creative experiments with ceramics, paint and other media invariably brought me back to my lifelong hobby of photography and I decided I should pursue that from which I get most satisfaction. In the old days, I’d develop pregnant rolls of film in my blacked-out toilet at home and then play with the negatives in the darkroom to produce the final prints. But with the advent of digital photography, I lost interest because I couldn’t play around the way I used to.
That all changed when my husband Gerrit gave me a digital Canon in an effort to rekindle my former passion, and soon I was out taking pictures again. Anywhere – zoos, cities, forests – often with a very good photography friend of mine. And I got into editing, too, which was hard work because all the Photoshop manuals were in difficult, technical English. I’m still learning every day in that respect, but I’m pleased to say that I see steady progress over the years.
I base a lot of my work on photographs I take on holiday, but find inspiration for my art in absurdity: Monty Python’s absurdity, and Escher’s. It’s always a wonderful feeling to watch people at exhibitions as they take their time to take in my creations and slowly start to see all that goes on in them. They’re printed on brushed aluminium – I think the material is perfect for colour and depth and adds to their tension and excitement.