Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Jurre: « I started as a self-taught photographer five years ago. Before that, I worked for a film distributor in Amsterdam and I did marketing and publicity. My father is a photographer and after a basic photography course at CREA, where he taught, I really began. At one point it took so much of my time that I decided to quit my regular job and focus entirely on photography. Coincidentally, during that time my girlfriend went to Zanzibar for a 7 months research project and I decided to go along. There I made my very first photo series. I would describe myself as a portrait and documentary photographer who makes personal, warm, and cinematic work. Although that may not be the case with my series about beekeepers. That actually feels a bit distant, somehow. »
Where does your fascination with beekeepers come from?
« The fascination for beekeepers started with the photo series I made in Zanzibar. I joined an organization that trained female beekeepers. When I saw those white suits walking in the jungle, I was hooked immediately. Once back in Amsterdam, I found out that we have a lot of « hidden » beekeepers on roofs, gardens, and even works of art. I had seen photo series of beekeepers before, but I was especially curious about the environment in which they were located. That is why I have chosen not only to portray the beekeepers but also to show the city and the surroundings. This gives you a glimpse into a completely different world, different from what you would normally see from street level. »
Are there certain remarkable things you have learned during the making of this series?
« Ooh, actually making the whole series was a step into an unknown world. Every time I stood on another roof in Amsterdam, I was amazed that this existed. The most remarkable thing for me was that bees turn out to be not aggressive at all. I could often walk among the bees without a suit and nothing would happen. Oh, and I also had no idea that a single bee flies within a radius of 5 kilometers to get its food. And that there can be about 40.000 bees living in a hive! »
Why should people come and see your expo?
« Because I think it gives a glimpse into a world they don’t know at all, but probably cycle by every day. And for the people who want to see more photos after checking out the expo, I have good news: a book will be released soon. »