“My first attempt at photography dates back to 2009, when I was a student in Interior Design. In that period, I bought my first Nikon DSLR camera. It all started with landscape photography; sunsets and beautiful Dutch winter landscapes.
After a while, old buildings aroused my interest. Exploring forbidden spaces and somehow, traveling through their history: that was everything I was interested in as a little boy. Back than, I could not appreciate the beauty of decay, but now I capture it through photography. An abandoned farm with all its furniture still there or a factory that shut down, where time has stood still, but you can still feel the vibes in the air. Crumbling ceilings, the ivy finding its way in every crack of the wall. Being in those forgotten places, sometimes feels like living in a fairy tale. I wanted to show people that there’s more beside contemporary architecture, like the abandoned and forgotten buildings that nobody cares about anymore.
In 2014 I organised my first photo exhibition at my father’s stained-glass studio. In that year I also published my first book, Journey to Forgotten Dreams. A mix of photos I made and small texts about the history of some buildings. People started to show interest in my work, therefore I have exhibited in different places throughout the Netherlands. I started taking pictures with another Nikon camera and focused on visiting the coolest locations and on improving my photography technique. I didn’t want to show viewers what’s in those dilapidated buildings, I wanted viewers to feel like those places were still in use. The true beauty and atmosphere of a building.
In collaboration with the Canadian poet Heather Beamish, I published the coffee table book Secrets of Neglected Places, in 2019. In the making of this book, I tried to capture the photos in a way that viewers could get the feeling they were there. You can experience the atmosphere and can almost smell the fresh baked biscuits cooked in the cute little kitchen”. Yoerie Custers