Since I was a kid, I’ve been curious about others people’s lives. I would look through my car window or walk down the street and wonder what sort of life did each person have. Where do they live? What does their house look like? What do they do for a living? Do they have a family? Are they loved? Are they happy? I guess that inquisitiveness never left me and somehow it has led me to become who I am and what I do today.
One of the things I love most is photographing homes. And artists’ homes would probably have to be my favourite. The home reveals the soul of its creator, the person that envisioned it and lives in it every day. My second favourite thing is meeting these homeowners, talking to them and over a few hours gaining an insight into their lives, their dreams, motivations and getting to know what inspires them and what makes them tick.
I was meant to come and photograph Irene Hoff and her art, but the moment she opened the gate I knew I had to come back and shoot not just her, but also her incredible house.
Her art is unique and very defined in style. If you see one of her paintings, it’s easily recognisable due to the materials, colours and mixed media applied to it. Her art is not for the faint hearted, it is very graphic and filled with colour, and also usually holds a message behind them. Irene is so easy to talk to and open without judgment that it comes as no surprise when she tells me she is also a healer. She has such a comforting and friendly nature that you instantly feel very at home talking to her
At the back of the house there is a garden that is big enough for kids to run around. The second floor features the 3 bedrooms, plus there is a creative space in the middle where kids can do their homework, but I have feeling that a lot of art is also created here.
And to my surprise this is not the end of it! Irene has a little plot of land next to her house where she tends to her organic garden and keeps some ducks. Total dream house!
Gaining an insight into Irene’s life was such a pleasure. Interestingly, Irene’s art is very playful, both through the colour palette, the media she chooses, and her mix of themes including the Heroic exhibit referencing Playmobil or endangered animals. Her art brings out my inner child and makes me ponder if the curiosity that I had as a child has somehow stayed with me until this day.