Margaret Lansink: The Art of Empathy

Investigating the relationship between humans and their (physical) environment is the focus of my work. Who we are is determined by our social environment and (family) history. How we build our self-esteem determines how we look to the outside world and how we respond to the other.



I often feel like the spectator of a play, looking from the outside into what is happening, how and why the other and I interact as we do. In my work I explore these relationships, trying to bridge the personal and universal.


The way I photograph is purely intuitive; my images present an open and honest reflection of my innermost emotions at a given space and time, in a given interaction. Shot as self-portraits in the broadest sense of the term, my images always convey a distinct emotional setting.

This intuitive approach to photography also implies a different way of experiencing my work; not as a reflection of reality but more as an open, artistic interaction between the personal and the universal. It is an invitation to embark on a journey through your own intricate web of memories, emotions, expectations, fears and desires, all with the intention to ultimately give meaning to your life from your own source; your true self.

MargaretLansink08MargaretLansink10Therefore I use different cameras, mostly analogue, to capture a variety of atmospheres within my emotional universe. My images might suggest loneliness and solitude yet the viewer often experiences a reassuringly comfortable and strangely inspiring expression. By giving the images the freedom to overflow from reality into the dream world, I try to provide a strong impulse for the viewers to go on their personal journey. In this way I try to connect a public perception with an intimate personal viewpoint.


These images illustrate my struggle to open myself up emotionally to the other.


Margaret Lansink received a BA from the PhotoAcademy in Amsterdam. She has exhibited in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, New York, Leiden, Kaunas and in her old hometown of Oldenzaal, and has three photo books to her name. Her awards include the Dutch New Talent in 2013, the Big Print Photo contest Amsterdam in 2015, the Bronze Star Award for fine art book at ND Awards in 2016. She was shortlisted for an AIR in Norway and received an AIR with the Kaunas Gallery in Lithuania and the Shiro Oni Studio in Japan (2016 and 2017) for her ongoing project “The Art of Empathy”.