By Kaitlin Gimes
In the vast and ever-evolving realm of photography, it’s a rare feat for an artist to establish a distinct voice that stands out amidst the cacophony of visuals. Cheraine Collette, a prodigious talent from the Netherlands, has achieved this with aplomb. Her signature style seamlessly blends the intricate details of creatures from the natural world with the whimsical and fantastical scenes birthed from her vivid imagination. This unique approach has not only garnered her numerous accolades but has also ensured her work a revered spot in private collections across the globe.
Born in the serene surroundings of a forest-side town in the east of the Netherlands in 1993, Cheraine’s tryst with art began at an age when most children are just learning to articulate their thoughts. At just three, she was already sketching, with her earliest muses being horses and other animals that caught her young eye. The environment at home was conducive to her budding talent. Her mother, recognizing her daughter’s potential, taught her the nuances of mixing colors, while her brother introduced her to the art of drawing in perspective. These early lessons laid the foundation for what was to come.
By the time she reached the cusp of her teenage years, at 12, Cheraine was already delving into the digital realm of art. Introduced to one of the pioneering Photoshop suites (CS1) by her forward-thinking father, she paired it with a digital painting tablet and brush. This combination became her magic wand, allowing her to paint, layer, and manipulate her photographs, giving them a depth and dimension that was ahead of her time.
Her passion for photography led her to the Fotovakschool, the University of Applied Photography, where she honed her skills and graduated in Photographic Design in 2015. Initially, the world knew her by the pseudonym of LORLEON®. However, by 2020, she decided to step out of this shadow and embrace her work under her birth name, Cheraine Collette.
At the heart of Cheraine’s work is a profound message. She strives to depict the ongoing tussle between nature and humanity. Her photographs capture the raw beauty and fragility of the natural world, often juxtaposed against the grandeur of historic edifices. Through her art, she aspires to ignite a spark in the viewers, urging them to champion the cause of preserving both our rich natural landscapes and invaluable cultural heritage. If one were to encapsulate the essence of her work in three words, they would be – authenticity, imagination, and an insatiable quest for beauty.
Cheraine’s methodology in photography is comprehensive. She is involved in every facet of the photographic production process, from the initial click of the shutter to the intricate processes of manipulation and digital painting. A standout feature of her oeuvre is her portrayal of fauna. She makes a conscious effort to photograph them in their natural habitats, a subtle yet powerful statement on letting nature be. In essence, every piece she creates is a meticulously crafted world, a blend of photographed snippets of nature and locales from her travels.
Recognition for Cheraine’s unparalleled vision has come from esteemed quarters. In 2020, the prestigious National Geographic Traveler China featured her work not once, but twice. Her ‘MARVELS’ series illuminated the May edition, while the ‘LEGACY’ series was the centerpiece of the magazine’s landmark 30th-anniversary issue. Further testament to her commitment to perfection is her collaboration with master printers from the Netherlands and Germany, all of whom are internationally recognized and certified.
The list of accolades for Cheraine is extensive and impressive. In a short span from 2019 to 2021, she amassed over 200 international awards and honors from globally renowned institutions, celebrating both her photographic and fine art creations.
Beyond photography, Cheraine has ventured into the world of publishing. In 2020, she unveiled her first book titled ‘MARVELS’, which quickly became a multi-award-winning sensation. Additionally, her critically acclaimed books, “Where Is Adam?” and “Marvels”, have earned the honor of being included in the collection of the Royal National Library.
Currently, Cheraine continues to weave her magic from her studio nestled in Otterlo, the Netherlands. Her exhibitions have graced esteemed galleries from Barcelona to Paris and from Siena to Linz. Prominent publications, including The Telegraph UK, Forbes, and National Geographic Traveler China, have featured her groundbreaking work.
In an age where the digital often distances us from the tangible beauty of the natural world, Cheraine Collette’s artistry serves as a bridge. Through her evocative visuals, she transports us to realms where the lines between reality and fantasy blur, compelling us to pause, introspect, and truly appreciate the wonders that surround us.
For more information, please visit Cheraine Collette’s website at https://www.cherainecollette.com/fine-art-collection/