Flowers, Vases & Delftware
In this multi-faceted series Marie Cecile Thijs brings to life a surrealistic world of flora and fauna. Using strong light and dark contrasts, and using authentic 17th-century Delftware vases, these contemporary works connect the past to the present.
This series is inspired by the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Historical symbols like the Tudor Rose and the black raven of the Tower of London are references to the many battles that were fought, the intrigues at court and the struggle for the crown.
'White Collar' is an autonomous photo project of Marie Cecile Thijs, which she started in 2009. The models are 'wearing' a 17th-century antique ruff collar that belongs to the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Because this collar is so delicate and rare, it was photographed by Marie Cecile Thijs - separately and under special conditions - in the Rijksmuseum and was later digitally added to the models.
Photos Girl with White Collar at table and Cat with White Collar are included in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (NL) since 2010. In that same year, Girl with White Collar was selected by the curator of the photo museum Chicago for the international Art of Photography Show.
About the ruff collar (information by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam):
'This collar is made of particularly fine batiste or cambric. As the name suggests, the material originally came from the Flemish town of Kamerijk or Cambrai. It was introduced to the Northern Netherlands by the Flemish refugees who arrived in the late sixteenth century. Haarlem weavers specialised in the fabric. Because of its shape, this kind of collar was known as a millstone ruff. These became fashionable in the second half of the sixteenth century under the influence of the Spanish rulers. Early millstone ruffs were starched with regular pleats. This collar, however, is looser and less tidy. It is of a type that was popular with young, fashionable men around 1615 to 1635. This is the only surviving pleated ruff in the world.'
In this series, alienating combinations of plants and flowers form a brand new green realm. In this futuristic world the human hand seems to have disappeared, giving free rein to climate, plants and animals.
Surrealistic portraits of majestic cats, with a nod to human nature. Works in this series have been exhibited at the Kunsthal Rotterdam in the Netherlands, at the exhibition called "Cat Love, Nine lives in the arts" in 2017-2018.
Portraits of autonomous young women. By combining historic references with contemporary portraiture, these works acquire a sense of timelessness. Silent Thought is included in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, USA (VMFA).
A series with culinary portraits of food. Tranquil and yet dynamic and slightly surrealistic, affecting the essence of food. Like pink oyster mushrooms under a bell jar, storm in glasses of water, distilled Umami and artichoke dripping in oil. There are also pictures showing terroir, chanterelles growing on bread, weighted seabass in salt and bleeding beetroot.
Winner of the first place in the 7th Photography Masters Cup 2014 (Chickpeas) and awarded in the IPA 2013 (International Photography Awards).
Each portrait of a chef cook is a small scene out of life, showing dedication, craftsmanship and mastery.
The horse has inspired many artists over the centuries. Marie Cecile Thijs is fascinated by this elegant and powerful animals since her childhood. Therefore, she has given the horse a place in her portrait photography. She has created a Black and White Unicorn (with an antique narwhal tooth) and she portraited Salinero, an Olympic horse. The portrait of Salinero is included in the collection of Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Most recent is her portrait of the Horse with the Blue Eyes.
Marie Cecile Thijs depicts angels as man's impromptu companions. In her work, angels are a timeless metaphor representing hope and autonomy. She intermingles the surreal world of angels with today's world to create a new reality. She mainly shows angels in more of a traditional portrait setting, partly inspired by classical painting and sculpture. The Human Angels have been awarded in the IPA 2011 (International Photography Awards), the Master Cup 2010 & 2011, and the Hasselblad Master Competition 2010.