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CREATIVE FUND | Introducing artist Lucas Hardonk

Amsterdam-based photographer Lucas Hardonk was selected as the first artist to be supported by Ace & Tate’s Creative Fund – an initiative providing grants to support young, ambitious talent who need help getting on the first step of the ladder to success.

We met up with Amsterdam-based Lucas to discuss the work he created with the help of the funding boost – a visual journey through time and space, day vs night – and to talk inspirations and dreams along the way.

Words by Kate Lawson
Photos by Jordi Huisman

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When did you take your first photograph?
With my Grandfather when I was 7 or 8, he had a camera that I wanted to use so badly, and one day he finally let me use it. First we went into the Forest to photograph some deer and then we went to a nearby river where I captured every boat that passed. It was a magical day to finally use his camera and I still have the images.

Which photographer has had the biggest impact on you, inspiration-wise?
Paul Graham. I like how he thinks and explores photography. He makes the most beautiful books that translate into amazing exhibitions in form and presentation.

You studied at The Royal College of Art in The Hague and now you’ve begun to explore and build your own style of work, can you describe your creative process?
I Dream, think – sometimes for too long – and then I start making, creating and trying to do different things. The concept will evolve the longer I’m working on it,   but reading and thinking about how I see things is always the basis, it always starts with a question that I have to think about how to answer.

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So where are most of your ideas generated?
Wondering in my studio, on my bike riding through the city. I’m a dreamer by nature so in fact it can be anywhere and at any given moment that I have an idea. My phone is full of little pieces of text thoughts, because ideas come to mind wherever I am.

Your ideas obviously caught the eye of Ace & Tate, as you’re the first artist to be granted funding from their initiative to provide support to emerging artists – can you explain the project you’ve created for them?
My project’s concept is to question imagery in relation to time and space by experimenting with dark translucent foils over pictures, to create day and night in the same image.

The limitations of space and time within photography have always been fascinating to me, so I tried to make a body of work that questions these facts, and the funding I’m receiving from Ace & Tate is helping me buy the materials I need to create the project.

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What do you want people to take away from your project?
I want them to visualise the boundaries of photography that force us to look at the space we’re in, but in a different way. It’s never about what you see but what you experience and what you think or want to see. Due to perception, emotions and memory, time influences space and connotation.

You live and work in Amsterdam, what’s your favourite thing about the city?
That it’s a multi-cultural city with lots of nationalities, and that it’s very liberal. Also, there is always something going on at the museums and there are lots of concerts, festivals, great restaurants too.

Describe what home means to you.
Me and my girlfriend created a wide open space, and it includes a big table and book cabinet with lots of photography, art and novels, and a large chair to read in. That’s where we spend most of our time. The dining table is the centre of the house. I’m not a big cook but I enjoy eating with friends!

Do you have art or photographs on the walls?
Yes, a picture by Viviane Sassen and a series of panels by Dutch designer Lex Pott.

And do you collect anything?
Not one particular thing, our house is full. I like to keep things or rather don’t like to throw things away!

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So you’re a hoarder then! Messy or tidy?
Messy! No further comments on that [laughs].

Do you play music at home, and if so, what?
Yes, everything from classical to techno. It all depends on my mood of course, but I play music every day. If I go without music for a while, I’ll always get a bit grumpy.

Speaking of moods, can you choose an Emoji you use regularly to describe / express yourself?
I’m the only person in the world that doesn’t use emojis!

Ok, so how would your friends describe you then?
As somebody you can have a discussion with, probably for the good as well as the bad.

What about when you’re not working, what’s your favourite way to unwind?
Going into the city and meeting up with friends, for a drink or dinner. On Friday evenings I head to one of my favourite bars, DE PELS. At the weekend, I go for a walk in the Forest.

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What’s your big dream in life and where do you dream?
I can dream everywhere, it takes me outside of reality. My biggest dream is to create more work as an artist because my head is full of ideas. I think if I can create what I want I’ll be the happiest person there is, and make enough money so I can focus on work entirely.

So you have good vibes about the future?
Yes, finishing things always feels more like a new starting point than the end of something.

Read more about our Creative fund here and apply!