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Never Die My Love, My Sweet Elora.

In the late autumn of 1970, my grandfather disappeared without a trace.
No one knew why he left, or where to. Three months passed before he returned. He offered no explanation for his absence.

53 years later, the repercussions revealed themselves.

My father had an affair , revealing the long hidden intergenerational fractures hiding within our family history

“Where did it all go wrong?’’ I asked myself. In need of answers, I dove into the family archives. Within them, I found a lead that shone a light upon my grandfather’s secrets.

My search led me to Elora, Canada – a small, quiet village 115 kilometres outside of the city of Toronto. There, my grandfather had an affair with an unknown young lady while my grandmother awaited his return. This is where it all began.

Seeing my reflection in the mistakes of both my father and grandfather, I decided not to let history repeat itself again. Prompting to travel to Elora three times in the span of a year.

‘’My Sweet Elora’’ is a collection of photographs / moving images of both the past and present Elora. I use this collection to visualise and dissect the complicated nature of family dynamics. While also using it as an ongoing formulation of personal identity within the context of my family’s history. This study serves as an exploration of trauma within my family and behavioural patterns. It is a conversation between archival material and contemporary photography. A conversation between what is and what was.

This installation uses fragments of family Vhs-tapes in combination with scenes from Dr Zhivago (1967, David Lean). My grandfather’s favourite film. He even named my father after a character in the film. These video’s are audio reactive to my grandfather’s voice that’s singing a love song. (before the next teardrop falls 1974, Freddy Fender).

Luuk van Raamsdonk (2001) is a multidisciplinary artist located in Breda, The Netherlands.

In his work he strives to reveal and understand the mystery of the world that surrounds him. Using lens based media to support his need to investigate, question and deconstruct. He does this by combining the often historic and archival qualities of photography with a more contemporary approach.

Theme’s of (family) history, identity, trauma and the human-nature relationship are reoccurring within his practice. Often translating themselves into deeply personal long-term projects characterised by atmospheric black and white imagery.