Erik Hijweege (1963) decided to follow his heart and become a photographer in 1998. Since then he has been working on personal and commissioned work.
In his personal work Hijweege has shown himself to be an explorer, navigating through nature, always with a camera at hand. Switching from 19th century cameras and wet plate collodion technique to high-end digital cameras, in order to meet his artistic needs. He is fascinated by nature, with its romantic beauty and its at times overwhelming power. And is duly worried by the multiple threats for our natural surroundings.
For his first long term personal project Hijweege went to Africa with a mobile studio in order to photograph the African San, Herero's and Albino's. His expeditions through the Kalahari Desert and Senegal resulted in his first monograph Noir. This series was not only awarded numerously but also led to his first museum exhibition. Noir also initiated a long-term project providing suntan oil for the Senegalese Albino's carried out by the African Albino society.
Hijweege started chasing big weather and tornadoes in 2006. This resulted in his first international solo show in New York and the Supercell book. As storm chasing has its peak in the spring/summer season Hijweege started an additional project focusing on his native country Holland. The Netherlands photographed as a miniature world took centre stage in his book Holland that was published in 2012. This series also resulted in awards as well as shows in Holland and Russia.
In 2013 Hijweege started using the 19th century wet plate collodion process for his personal work. The first project with glass positives focused on a fragile subject matter. Based on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Hijweege photographed 23 endangered species preserved in ice. His Endangered series was exhibited at the Dutch Natural History Museum in Rotterdam raising awareness for this important matter. The Endangered book was published in 2014.
As a follow up to the Endangered project Hijweege started New Habitat in 2017. As threatened animals are vulnerable in their natural environment, this new series is about relocating endangered species to safer grounds.
In addition Hijweege travels the world working on his long-term project Uncharted Territories, following his 19th century inspired longing for remote places and distant shores. Capturing landscapes on tintype, he shows us the world seen through the eyes of explorer Dr. David Livingstone.
- Noir, Uitgeverij de Verbeelding, 2004
- Supercell, Hatje Cantz, 2011
- Holland, Uitgeverij de Kunst, 2012
- Een eigen gezicht, Ella Editions, 2014
- Endangered, Ella Editions, 2014