Robert van Koesveld has been interested in image making since childhood. He began in film-based photography as a teenager and continued working in the darkroom as well as with colour transparencies until enthusiastically converting to a digital workflow.
He was born and raised in Australia but ‘inherited’ an international perspective from his Java Dutch parents who had lived in many countries. His father spoke nine languages and learnt Japanese while working there in 1917. Robert travelled extensively as a young man and has returned to travel as his children grew up. Based in Perth, he has been photographing full-time for more than ten years.
Robert’s work is primarily involved with world cultures and their preservation. His personal goal is to make works that communicate ‘spirit of place’ and portraits that show the quality of ‘presence’ in those he photographs.
Prior to his photography career Robert was a psychotherapist and educator for many decades and this influences how he works as a photographer. He works for a synergy between hand, eye and heart and for there to be an emotional engagement between the subject and the viewer.
He has led photography tours to Bhutan for many years after co-authoring, with his wife Libby Lloyd, a book about the country – ‘Bhutan Heartland: Travels in the land of the Thunder Dragon’, published by Fremantle Press. He has also led photo groups to China, India and Japan. In his own travel he is drawn back may times to specific places and longer term projects and currently has ongoing projects in Japan, India and Bhutan. He also has an interest is alternative printing techniques and small edition book making and design.
His book ‘Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto’ won the Australian Professional Photography Award for the Best Photo Book of the Year by the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers.