top of page


tete-a-tete-esthervanwaalwijk-1 startfot

Eighteen models, two photographers ... Esther Waalwijk and Mo Swillens photographed the same
eighteen models. Esther used an old wooden box camera (1890). Mo Swillens made photographic
colour etchings. The penetrating black and white photos and velvety colour prints start a
silent conversation in a series of diptychs. Tête-à-tête.

For the project Tête-à-tête a special book was released in which the eighteen diptychs are
bundled. Griet Menschaert (artist and writer) wrote for tête-à-tête a short story. Edition
of 150 numbered copies.

Esther uses negatives measuring 18 x 24 cm on photo paper. Exposure creates a negative image
which is scanned and then turned positive so that the photo can be printed. In working this
way, Esther slows down the initiation of the photographic process. “It is the opposite of a
snapshot,” says Esther about this. “The moment during which the photograph is taken gets
stretched into a kind of mood.”

Mo uses a digital SLR (single lens reflex camera). With her printing technique, she slows
down the final stage of the photographic procedure. Her photos undergo colour separation,
yielding four light-sensitive plates for exposure — one each for cyan, magenta, yellow
and black. These are inked by hand and, in four passes of a traditional press, printed on etching paper.

Details about 'Tête-à-tête':

  • Exhibition and book in cooperation with Mo Swillens.

  • Medium: 18 diptychs, 4 colours (Mo) en Hahnemuhle fine art prints (Esther), 3 copies.

  • Size: Book and diptychs: 18x24cm

  • When/Where:
    Book release and exhibition at Nederlandsche Cacaofabriek, Helmond (March 2014)

  • Book presentation and exhibition at KALEID Londen (July 2014)

  • Exhibition at Dutch Design Week TAC Eindhoven & Grafisch Atelier Daglicht (October 2014)

  • Exhibition at Gallery Wilms Venlo 
    (February 2015)

bottom of page