I Miss

Leonie Gossens
September 1, 2022
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The starting point for my photographic and visual experiments is a sensitivity to the seemingly unnoticed, the unwitnessed or deviant. The search for a visual and tangible translation urges me to create. Existing photographic material and an image from everyday reality can be the starting point for my visual research. With analogue and digital photographic techniques, I manipulate the existing image into something new. The research phase is an essential part of the photographic and visual materiality that ultimately arises.

One in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. So did my pregnancy at the end of the eleventh week. A highly individual experience that is experienced simultaneously by an incredible number of women. However, few photographers and artists have imagined the subject in the formal canon. Nature’s failure to create new human life is a subject you don’t talk about or make images of. Discussing or sharing the experience of miscarriage still seems taboo. The lack of visibility and recognisability makes the loss extra painful for the women who have experienced a miscarriage.

Project Representation of Miscarriage in Visual Culture / I MISS is my research into visual strategies to explore and imagine the impact of miscarriage. For two years, I have sought photographic answers to the question of how to capture something that was not yet visible and has suddenly disappeared? How can I make something visible that others have not seen or felt but was and remains so clearly there? For my graduation project, I made a selection of images I created that I called: I MISS. I focused on the experience many women have: when and where it went wrong. The vague boundary between before and after is, therefore, central to my research. I share my story and that of many with me to capture the process of loss and disappearance in time and space.

Leonie Gossens, 1975. Currently living in Noord-Brabant, a southern province of the Netherlands. After high school, I moved to the northern part of the Netherlands. I studied Art and Art Policy at the University of Groningen. I have been working as a project manager in art education and social, cultural projects. About five years ago, I followed a course in analogue black and white photography. I loved working in the darkroom for hours, patiently exploring the possibilities and working on small projects. I decided to start studying Photographic Design in Rotterdam. And at the same time, I tried to explore the world of cameraless photography and eco-printing. In 2021 I graduated cum laude with Project Memories and Project Representation of Miscarriage in Visual Culture/I Miss.
As a photographer and artist, I try to capture what is no longer there, has not yet been or may not have been. Not the here and now, but the absence I try to translate into something visible. As a photographer and artist, I try to capture what is no longer there, has not yet been or may not have been. Not the here and now, but I try to translate the absence into something visible.
Leonie Gossens
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