Jennifer Kesteleyn was born (20th July 1984) and raised in Ghent, Belgium. When she was in her childhood she was constantly drawing and painting. From puberty on, she started writing poetry which resulted in a number of publications. Numerous jury reports mentioned the strong visual dimension of her poetry where the physical aspects were omnipresent. On an artistic field things got quiet when she started studying Political Sciences at Ghent University. After obtaining her masters degree in International Relations and a six month internship at the Belgian embassy in Nairobi (Kenya) the foundations of her interest in photography emerged. What started with the idea of making good pictures during numerous travels quickly evolved into a profound passion for photography. During the time she was working on her PhD in International Relations she luckily was able to start evening classes in photography. One could say that Jennifer Kesteleyn was photographically born on the 31h December 2015 whilst making a first auto portrait in an abandoned greenhouse. From then on, she started working on the series called “Abandoned feelings” which are a translation of the poetry she wrote in the past, combined with her adventurous nature. For now, she’s on the verge of finishing her PhD and in the meantime taking her first footsteps in the field of professional photography.
In her own words:
“Abandoned feelings” can be seen as my birth as a photographer. By nature I’m very curious so I ended up by default in the world of “Urban exploring”. Here my passion for history and photography were combined but I quickly realized that I couldn’t make a real contribution to the field of Urban Exploring. Already so many good photographers were capturing the beauty of decaying buildings. The adagium of Urban Exploration is “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints” but somehow I wanted to capture the memories of people who were working, living,… in those buildings. These places are seldom easily accessible so I had to use myself as a model. By exploring my inner feelings at that time combined with often beautiful sceneries in decaying places I tried to tell my story and that of others.
This is a sample of her work
All images © Jennifer Kesteleyn