Robert van Koesveld
Robert van Koesveld regards his photography as working to reflect the ‘Spirit of Place’. His portraiture aims to communicate something of the person’s inner presence, often informed by their environment. He is also fascinated with photographic narrative. A single image might be sufficiently layered to provide threads of meaning to be explored, or a story might require a series of images working together to more fully disclose a facet of culture and place.
After retiring as a psychotherapist and educator Robert has traveled even more extensively and so has been able to pursue his curiosity about how the boundary between the traveler and the local people can open up, however briefly, providing opportunities for real engagement between people and within people. Rather than a barrier, he sees photography as a means for deepening contact and meaning along this intriguing edge.
Robert’s commitment to his craft as a photographer is reflected in the themes of his ongoing visual diary, his blog - (always) learning to see. The name expresses the importance, frustrations and delights of constantly working at the process of seeing. This is a particular challenge for travelers who are also photographers, since their own vision can be obscured by the weight of travel imagery out there, as well as a pressure to be ‘original’.
As a psychotherapist trainer and educator Robert worked extensively through a mentoring style and this informs his approach to teaching photography. He accepts that individuals have their own learning styles and works to vary his approach to embrace this.
Together with his wife, Libby Lloyd, he created an internationally well-received book “Bhutan Heartland – Travels in the Land of the Thunder Dragon”, at the invitation of Fremantle Press. Bhutanese people often comment with delight that they consider the book’s photographs and stories to reflect the complexity of peoples’ lives, rather than anonymous stereotypes. Robert also writes for various Australian photography publications.
Robert is interested in working with travelers who are also photographers and leads expeditions to Bhutan, Japan and China.
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