Dan and I went back to Amsterdam for a week in October, the first real holiday we’ve had in ages.
From 2009 – 2011, he studied Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image at the university there, and I used to fly over to visit every couple of months. It was an intense, emotional and exciting time. Airport goodbyes were so painful, but being reunited was the best thing in the world. We would cycle around the city, see lots of films, go to gigs, visit lots of galleries together, and it all inspired me so much creatively.
Back at home I had just finished university, I had returned to living with my parents in my home town, I worked for the local university as a note-taker and I made drawings constantly in my free time, but when I stayed with Dan in Amsterdam I got to experience the city and all its culture, and for a little while I made illustrations for Unfold Magazine (a sort of fold out version of Time Out magazine) including a poster design for The Van Gogh Museum’s Picasso in Paris exhibition, which was my first real illustration job.
It was strange to return – Amsterdam is so familiar to us both and we both felt the ache of realising how much you have missed a place. We revisited a lot of our old haunts in new places – most of the comic book shops had moved locations but hadn’t changed at all (the staff in Lambiek still bring you a cup of coffee while you browse and give you a mini comic by Chris Ware with your purchases “he made it for us before he was famous”) and the Filmmuseum which was then at Vondelpark is now a ferry journey away to the north.
Here are some photographs I took with my harinezumi camera: