Picto Benelux Photographic group

Picto Benelux is a photographic group with artists from Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg working in alternative photographic processes.
From: Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg.
Shows: Daguerrotype, Carbon prints, Bromoils, Cyanotypes, Gum bichromates, Heliogravures, Orotypes, Pinholes, Vandykes, Platinum print, Solargraphy, Sury prints, Vandykes.

PICTO Benelux brings together photographers from Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg and neighboring areas, interested in historic photographic processes corresponding to their artistic sensitivity, wishing to share the results of their research – successes as well as failures – and to involve themselves in joint projects.

The group is not intended to defend anachronistic processes, but to take advantage of the undeniable qualities of these old techniques in order to develop resolutely contemporary and original photography.

Its objectives:
Transmitting a technical knowledge, and developing an artistic sensitivity by:

  • Raising awareness amongst the public for how the dexterity of the artist combined with rich and sensual materials can transform each creation into a unique work.
  • Perpetuating amongst the members a know-how, while making it clear that photography is not only about technique, but above all about transmitting an emotion.

Picto Benelux counts about 50 members and meets 5-6 times per year in Rixensart, near Brussels (Belgium). Meetings include lectures and demos, displays and discussions of recent works by the members or guest photographers, and finally group purchases of materials and equipment. Picto Benelux would welcome contacts and cooperation opportunities with similar groups from other countries.

“Mastery of technique is essential insofar it allows the photographer to express himself as fully as possible. He must, however, have something to say photographically”

p.29, Double Take, Richard Whelan, 1981, Crown Publishers Inc., NY.

Members showing their work here:

  • Rene Smets
  • Florence D’elle
  • Andre Devlaeminck
  • Hilde Braet
  • Kim Engels
  • Jan Strijbos
  • Roger Kockaerts
  • Clarie Latouche
  • Henk vd Biggelaar
  • Jacques Kevers
  • Rosemary Laneau
  • Giusy Cartechini


Note on the processes
Orotype is a process derived from the orotone process, and developed by Roger Kockaerts during the late sixties.
The Sury process is a variant of dichromated gum printing where the emulsion, to which powdered pumice is added, can receive and retain after development the powdered pigments or pastels applied to the paper. It was developed by Joseph Sury (Chimay 1866/04/17 – Wijnegem 1944/11/23), a belgian chemist by training and a photographer belonging to the pictorialist movement. Joseph Sury created a small workshop where his “Color” paper was manufactured. The paper was sold ready to be sensitized. Unfortunately, he carefully avoided to document his procedure in detail. When he died in 1944 in the bombing of his house , he carried his secets into the grave. His process, which was already beginning to fall into disuse, became completely forgotten. It took about five years to a belgian amateur to retro-design the process.

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