The soul of raw materials

Economy is emotion, trade is character, culture is passion and pain, geology and natural resources are close to love and desire. The major developments in the world do not exist in isolation, but find their expression through people. This expression is sought in Mathilde Jansen’s projects, this expression of history, culture, economy, global trade within a human and personal context. The ways of the world enrich the soul and in turn, driven by this experience the soul enriches the world.

De ziel in de grondstof

Economie is emotie, handel is karakter, cultuur is passie en pijn, geologie en grondstof zijn liefde en verlangen. De grote bewegingen in de wereld bestaan niet op zichzelf, maar komen in de mensen tot uitdrukking. In de projecten van Mathilde Jansen wordt deze uitdrukking gezocht, deze expressie van historie, cultuur, economie, global trade in het persoonlijke. ‘The ways of the world enrich the soul’, en vanuit deze ervaring verrijkt de ziel op haar beurt weer de wereld.

– David Buiks (historian/Art Amplifier)

Bouw Stadionplein

Economy, ecology and social creation

Mathilde Evaline Jansen lives and works in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). After completing social studies, she studied Photography at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (2005), mixed media at the Academy of Fine Art in Prague (2004) and graduated in Photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2001-2006). In 2016 she completed the postgraduate studies Professional Artist in Class. Mathilde took part in several residency programs and worked in the Czech Republic, Iran, Spain, England, Portugal, Belgium and Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is a source of inspiration and second home.

Jansen works as a conceptual and documentary photographer in commission for media, organizations, companies and individuals. Such as KPN, Eneco, Strukton, HP/De Tijd, metro news, NRC next, Splento and Samen Ondernemen. Her art photography works are exhibited internationally, including the cities of Amsterdam, Berlin and San Francisco. Her works have been discussed at several art, social and corporate (African) events.

Besides her artistic practice, Mathilde Jansen worked as a group leader in child and mental health care. She currently works as an art workshop teacher at primary schools and pre-schools in Amsterdam-North (an upcoming district of Amsterdam with a mixture of high rise flats, typical Dutch houses and room for experimental initiatives) and South East (a migrant neighborhood built in the ’60).

Her artistic analogue portrait and landscape photography illuminates people living in both modern and natural/rural environments, and cross-relations between global economy (consumers) and natural resources (local inhabitants and international producers). Through an experimental and collaborative approach, Mathilde gives insights into new intercultural understanding and the relation between people, nature and (fair) trade.
She works in an interventionist and at the same time non-judgmental way. She connects with people’s ideas and includes their desires and feelings. To create a surreal or meaningful image of a working environment or livelihood, in which fantasy and reality melt into one. Her approach combines research, intuitive openness and interaction on location.


Whilst working with fragments or ‘stills’ of time and space, Jansen is on her way to becoming an artistic documentary filmmaker as well. To catch monumental moments and complex structures in moving images, in addition to photography. She’s inspired by Social Sculpture, a concept by artist Joseph Beuys; life is art, art is life. She portrays seemingly daily scenes of life, and lifts them to a higher plane. Thus there’s an interrelation between documentary photography, (mixed) media and contemporary art.

Over the past few years her projects have delved more into the psychology of individual and collective life stories in relation to organic structures. Mathilde increasingly situates her work on the borderline between storytelling and art.

Nijenhuis Heino
“The experience was an exciting one for me. It illustrated that writing was about risk – about risking everything. And that the value of the writing is not in what you publish but in its consequences. If you set out to describe reality, then the influence of the writing is upon reality.”
Ryszard Kapuściński