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Birgitta de Vos: omnipresent | beyond borders at The Kinfolk Gallery 2019


Though busy with design tours while in Copenhagen, I had a small window to visit some additional places during my stay. The Kinfolk Gallery was high on the list, having missed out on my last trip to Denmark, and I'm so glad I managed to squeeze it in. Having seen, admired, and shared many images of the space since it opened around three years ago, it was surreal to walk through the doors and finally see it in real life. Designed by Norm Architects for use as both a gallery and workspace, the interiors are serene and welcoming in a palette of muted brown and sandy tones. Restrained, yet rich in texture, the space provides the perfect backdrop for exhibitions and events held in the gallery, such as the exhibition that was running during my visit, omnipresent | beyond borders by Birgitta de Vos. An ode to the earth in the form of tactile art, created to mark the publication of her third book of photo-poetry, the exhibition provided a wonderful sense of calm, especially during a hectic few days. 

Birgitta de Vos started her career in trend forecasting with Li Edelkoort in Paris, before moving on to launch clothing labels including Just B., Bohemian and Clean Cotton. She then taught at the Design Academy Eindhoven, before deciding to forge her path as a photographer and artist. Taking time out to travel the world, as is often the case, one year became 10 years, and one country became 30. During and after travel, she distills her observations into beautiful photo-poetry books. “I have to make borders, and a book is a very good border. I have a theme and I have to work to that,” she says.

Birgitta's third limited-run book, omnipresent | beyond borders follows after dressing the soul | ageless beauty and out of fashion | the new fashion. Each of these books focuses on alerting readers to a fundamental truth about the natural world and our lived experience of it. In omnipresent | beyond borders, the notion that, as she puts it, “The world would take very good care of itself if we didn’t abuse it” is at the centre of her collection of earth-based compositions. 

De Vos’s pictures and trend essays have been published in international magazines like Happinez, Hand/Eye and PantoneView. Her work has been exhibited internationally including in Amsterdam, New York, Basel, Marrakech and Paris. De Vos currently works from a studio in the Dutch countryside and lives on a converted cargo boat in Amsterdam.

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

To find out more about Birgitta's work and books, visit her website, and follow @birgittadevos @birgittadevosbooks.

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