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Click on the PDF file
to download The Bush Monster

Klik op de PDF om Het Struikmonster
activiteiten te downloaden



Book launch  coming soon..

From September 24 to October 29, 2023, APELDOORN PHOTO organises the 6th edition of the biggest photography festival in Apeldoorn (and its surroundings). During the period of the festival you can visit this page to enjoy the virtual photo-exhibition of the project  'The Bush Monster'.

To celebrate this Photography Festival you are invited to meet & greet Ruta Kalmane Saksens, the author of ‘What happens to leaves when they fall off trees?’ and ‘The Bush Monster’, on October 14 from 12 pm to 3 pm at Nawijn & Polak bookstore in Apeldoorn. Several photography works will also be on show during the presentation of these two interactive limited edition books.


About the Project

‘The Bush Monster’ is a photographically illustrated rhyming story for children inspired by both my son and nature in my garden, located in the Dutch woodland region ‘The Veluwe’. The project tells an unusual story of a bush monster who is used to hunting creatures that are different than others and chooses a wooden reindeer as his next target.

Having a child who is being raised in multiple languages by two parents who have different nationalities, for me as a mother means paying extra attention to how well the child fits into a local children’s social circle. Bullying happens across all ages, to children and adults alike. People who are bullied often feel miserable, scared, hurt and ashamed. Quite often the person being bullied suffers in silence and feels lonely. This peculiar tale, which is dedicated to my son, can serve as a starting point for a more in-depth discussion between an adult and a child, raising questions around such topics as bullying, being different, envy, empathy and forgiveness.

‘The Bush Monster’ is a conceptual continuation of the rhyming story ‘What happens to leaves when they fall off trees?’ and illustrates a story with nature photography told in an anthropomorphistic manner and with an emphasis on pareidolia, highlighting arbitrary connections in nature that lead to new meanings by combining, cutting, adjusting, rearranging, decolourising, flipping, inverting, layering and mirroring digital photographic images to achieve unusual combinations which the viewer can decipher together with the complementing textual information. The project also includes digital pinhole and reversed lens images. It all includes work from other mediums such as handmade paper, organic matter and a sound track, allowing the playfulness and experimentation to further enrich the project, and providing an opportunity for children to interact with the story by actively involving visual sense in combination with textual information and auditory and tactile senses, offering a more complex engagement.

The project was exhibited at the performance and event venue Kulturhus EGW in Epe, the Netherlands from April 4 to April 28, 2023.


Links to online media articles:

Interview Article In The Schaapskooi Newspaper

Online Article On The Latvians Abroad Association’s Website

Online Article On The Latvians in The Netherlands Website

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