Cuny Janssen (NL 1975) completed her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Utrecht followed by an internship with Thomas Struth in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Since 2000 Janssen travelled around the world to make portraits of children in their everyday environments, combining these with photographs of the landscape they are surrounded by. So far Janssen photographs exclusively in color and manages to capture impulsive moments with an analogue 4 x 5 inch plate camera, which seems like a contradiction. Her photos create a profoundly expressive work about a city or a region and their people. Her travels resulted in several photo books such as India (2002), Portrait/Landscape Macedonia (2004), Finding Thoughts (2005), There is Something in the Air (2007), Amami (2009), My Grandma Was a Turtle (2010), Yoshino (2013) and BLU (2015). Cuny Janssen was nominated for the Prix de Rome for Photography in 2002 and had solo exhibitions at the Photographers' Gallery in London, Photography Museum Amsterdam (FOAM), Museum de Pont in Tilburg and Kunstverein Heilbronn. She's represented by andriesse eyck galerie in Amsterdam who will launch her new book There Was a Child Went Forth. Their beauty made the American photographer and writer Robert Adams include one of Janssen's photographs in his newest publication Art Can Help: Selected Essays and Notes, Yale University.
There Was a Child Went Forth is the title of a book that consists of three volumes in a cassette. The Walt Whitman title comes from his poem about the imprints of life collected during childhood. Imprints are exactly what inspired Cuny Janssen to make these photographs.
The three volumes only have images. Text and colophon are printed on the cassette.
For this series of photos Cuny Janssen worked in and around her own city, Amsterdam (2013- 2016). In the first two volumes of the book you can see a selection of intimate portraits, children only, and city landscapes with an emphasis on trees and parks. Each single portrait is connected to a landscape. The photographs in the third volume are made from a bigger distance and show us more of the city and the different situations in which the children are photographed. Here landscapes and (group) portraits are mixed and combined in a different way. There Was a Child Went Forth was launched at the UNSEEN Photo Fair 2017 in Amsterdam.