Popel Coumou (NL, 1978) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2004. Her work has since been exhibited both in the Netherlands and internationally and has been acquired by Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Huis Marseille, the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs, and of Foreign Affairs, Statoil, and numerous other private and public collections. In 2007 she won the Grand Prix of the Photography Jury at the International Fashion and Photography Festival Hyères. The work of Popel Coumou is represented by TORCH gallery, Amsterdam.
Artist and photographer Popel Coumou plays in her work with the main elements of photography: light, paper and perception of reality. By carefully lighting her collages she manages to give the paper relief a third dimension, bringing the flat surface to life. In a space with tall windows depth is created by the sunlight shining in, a simple little house appears in a large field, and illuminated geometric shapes loom out of a dark and desolate natural landscape. In other images, we realise only after looking very carefully that what we are seeing are not life-sized objects, but miniatures still lifes in clay, some of which even still bear the occasional fingerprint. Popel Coumou creates empty spaces, graphic lines and compositions verging on the abstract. In her latest work she started presenting her collages, that formally only formed the base for her photographs, as a work by itself. For 113_Untitled 2019 she used photographs of the sky to create her collages like a painter uses his paint for his painting. Because light was already hidden in the photographs of the skies she didn’t need to add light to create the third dimension.