Cultural Center Palethe
Awards Winners 2019 (subject to change, will likely be moved to an outdoor location)
Barbara Vandendriessche
RPS Benelux Chapter 2021 Print Exhibition
WPC Team Belgium 2021

Jeugdlaan 2, 3910 Pelt
GPS 51.211239° NB 5.428118° OL

Every working day 9.00 – 17.00 h
The dates of some extra Sunday openings will be communicated here later
And during activities in the cultural center

St. Martin’s Church
Bert Daenen | behind the mask

Kerkdijk 2-4, 3910 Pelt
GPS 51.211111° NB 5.425730° OL

The exact opening hours will be communicated here later

Service Center Pelle-Melle
Eddy Verloes
Members of the jury

Dorpsstraat 58, 3900 Pelt
GPS 51.213668° NB 5.423033° OL

Every day 9.00 – 17.00 h

Private garden
Ilan Wittenberg (NZL) | Faces of Cairo
HelPhoto, Helsinki, Finland
Vizualizator, Belgrad, Serbia

Burgemeester van Lindstraat, 3900 Pelt
GPS 51.210824° NB 5.420254° OL
Open air exhibition at the summer tarrace of Bar Deluux

The exact opening hours will be communicated here later


CC Palethe

Jeugdlaan 2,  3900 Pelt

Barbara Vandendriessche


Photographer / sculptor / visual poet

‘With my pictures and sculptures I seek for the beauty in the tragical, in pain.’

I worked for 20 years as a director and set designer at the theater. But more and more, photography, which I initially regarded as a sideline, invaded my professional path. I discovered how my experience within the theater influenced the language of my photography and experienced a sense of “back to basics”, of re-sourcing. In order to be able to clarify this more, I decided to leave the black box in 2017 and tell my story on the basis of photos and sculptures. My photos are often staged and focus on physicality, emotion or expression. They look for a physical and psychological vulnerability. My sculptures are a study of damage, both in the use of matter and in the expression of an emotionality. The broken, the damaged, the unfinished and confused are represented in different ways through heads and bodies. Yet there is always a “sparkle”, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally, perceptible.

I create the whole image as photographer, stylist and set designer.

My photography is theatrical. But ‘theatricality’ is an elastic concept and also has many negative connotations: bombastic, exaggerated, false or artificial. This is how I define it myself: theatralization is the abstracting and enlargement of reality to evoke emotion in the viewer, not through reason, but directly appealing to an approach that can be traced to our ritual instincts. Theatricality as a pre-aesthetic instinct.

That is what I try to represent with my photography: how to portray the emotional body tragically? How to create a tragic image that expresses emotion and triggers emotion? Search for images with an intensity, no images with intentions. Images you look at because they tell you something, even if you do not immediately know what. Images that evoke a story, without being narrative themselves. Often with the female body as an expression of beauty

www.barbaravdd.be (photography and sculptures)
www.barbaravandendriessche.org (theater and scenography)



CC Palethe


RPS Benelux Chapter 2021 Print Exhibition


RPS logo

About thirty pictures by members of the Benelux Chapter of the Royal Photographic Society will be exhibited as part of a collaboration between LodM and RPS.





Award Winners Lens op de Mens 2019


Martin Krystýnek | Gold Award Professional Photographers


Martin Krystýnek

Multi-award winning photographer born in Poprad, Slovakia. Martin Krystýnek obtained the title of Master Qualified European Photographer (MQEP) in 2019. He is president of the Association of Professional Photographers of Slovak Republic APFSR.

He started working as a professional in 2010. In that year he worked in South America, especially in Paraguay, where he gained the necessary experience. He worked for many important people in the field of politics, modeling or show business.

After years of working in photography, his name became his brand and acquired professional success and experience. In the past 4 years, he has won over 300 international awards, gold, silver and bronze medals and numerous honorable mentions.

His photos have been published in many international photo books around the world.

Nowadays he also works as a curator on the most prestigious, internationally curated 1x.com photo site.

Martin also works as a jury member at international photo competitions. He is a jury member of the QEP and MQEP qualifications of FEP, the Federation of European Professional Photographers, where he has also served as a judge at the FEP Photographer of The Year Awards.



TijsPosen | Silver Award Professional Photographers


Lens op de Mens 2019 | Silver Professionals © Tijs PosenTijs Posen. In my main profession I am the manager of an audiovisual company that produces reports and documentaries for a very diverse group of customers. Both channels such as VRT, VTM, Kanaal 2, VITAYA, Vier and TVL as the best-known production houses call on my services as director, reporter and cameraman.

A number of productions can be viewed on the www.pry.be site.

As a lover of beautiful images, I photograph every day for more than 25 years. I have been working as a professional photographer for 5 years.

Who am I
I purify my work. I want to capture the story that an image has to tell as accurately as possible in the best conditions. Light, color, decor, atmosphere… everything should be right. I understand my subject and intensively capture an atmosphere that belongs to the subject.

Working process
I am convinced that the best images are the most spontaneous. Those that are not forced. That is why I work in a gentle way. I approach my subject without being pushy and let it retain its individuality.

An image must appear as spontaneous as possible and must be credible. This is possible when light, decor and atmosphere go together perfectly and let the subject come into its own.

My passion is kneading an image until it has its shape that I know is the perfect one.

In photography over the centuries, each period has its own character, its own style. Although it is difficult to escape it, I try not to be influenced by the contemporary styles, fashions, but to maintain a consistent style of its own. A style that is just there when I take my photo.



Filip Santens | Bronze Award Professional Photographers


© Filip Santens

Photographer Filip Santens is an experienced master photographer who works with great passion on a beautiful portrait that shows the photographed person at its best.





Livinus Bleyen | Gold Award Amateur Photographers


Lens op de Mens 2019 | Gold Professionals © Livinus BleyenI live in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, where I have been a photographer for at least 25 years.
My photographic roots are in the darkroom but today my photography is 100 % digital. 

I enjoy photographing sports and movements, animals, people and places, landscapes,… in fact anything and everything in front of my camera. I also enjoy producing altered images.
Regularly I am taking part in regional, national and international photo competitions and exhibitions. My pictures have been shown in more than 50 countries, in 5 continents.



Patje Vandebroek | Silver Award Amateur Potographers


© Patje VandebroekVandebroek Jacky officially, baptized Patrick, called Patje and sometimes Pietje.
Born and raised and still living and working in Neerpelt (B), now Pelt.

As a 15-16 year old I was already fascinated by photography. My first decent camera was a Chinon CM-4, already with a power winder and 1 lens, the 70-210 mm.
After being married and becoming a father, photography is put on the back burner.

Around the age of 40 I suddenly got a digital camera (Minolta) in my hands from a friend who had bought himself a new Canon, without his wife knowing. And the train had left again.

I think I have a fairly good understanding of photography and I like nothing better than passing on the knowledge I have to others, which is very satisfying. It is even better when you see that those people then pass it on to others. That is what we all do it for.

As long as my health allows it, I will continue to photograph, because it remains a fascinating hobby, although they say that everything has already been photographed. This only adds to the challenge.



Marc Apers | Bronze Award Amateur Photographers

Freelance photographer, always looking for typical black and white subjects with an emphasis on shapes and structures, light and dark, sun and shadow. Subjects where color is not very important. These subjects can be found in the human face and more specifically in the eyes, the “soul” of man. My portfolio therefore mainly consists of black and white portraits. Making portraits of people in their natural environment is the subject that interests me the most. For me, people are an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Many say that I possess a natural ability to approach people appropriately and thus persuade people to pose in front of my lens. A judgment that I leave to you, I know that it is extremely important to always show respect and sincere interest for the person portrayed. That is why I never make a portrait without first starting a small conversation with the people I meet. I openly and honestly introduce myself to them as if I am one of them. A wink, a short chat and a smiling face will convince them to pose for me. The greatest pleasure, however, is that afterwards they sometimes tell me their entire life story. Combining emotion and story in one image is my ultimate goal.

An overview of my current work can be admired on the 1x.com photo site for which I also act as one of the moderators without obligation.



Glenn Vanderbeke | Most Promising Young Photographer under 30 years of age


Lens op de Mens 2019 | Award jongere -30 © Glenn VanderbekeI take pictures and I blog.
I prefer to walk around in the woods and open fields.

The words “bon vivant” and “silly humor” sum up my personality well, but when I take pictures I am never satisfied. I always want more and better.
I like high-quality photographic images; my bulging shelf of photo books can witness this.

I also make images myself, since 2009. What started with a small point-and-shoot was extended a year later with my first SLR.
Inspired by my father, I chose a Canon EOS 1000D. Photographing soon evolved into a real obsession.
The first test with my telephoto lens turned into a real hunt in the forest. Everything that had ears and legs was recorded. I came home with 1000 images. At the end I only had about 5 images left. My enthusiasm was much bigger than my knowledge (at that time). The hard school could start!

After several years of self-study, I felt ready to take my photography to a new level. Curiosity pushes my limits. The decision was made. My full-time job was cut in half for one year and I decided to take a full-time day course at Syntra West, the perfect school for me. After a year full of new experiences and knowledge, I was in possession of the necessary diplomas.

Ready to accept any photographic challenge, I started my own business shortly thereafter.



Peter Testelmans | Most Creative Photography


Lens op de Mens 2019 | Award Creative Photography © Peter TestelmansIt is only with your Heart that you can see rightly what is essential….

A dancer uses the full potential of his body, to create a moving sculpture that is in perfect harmony, with the music and the emotions that are alive in his being. Visualising every feeling in a continuous movement to create their dance.

Capturing this moment, that maybe only exists for a split second, invisible to the eye, made eternal in a single image.

This is my Art. My gift to you, your moment, everlasting….



WPC – Belgian selection for the World Photographic Cup 2021


Logo WPC

In the cafeteria of CC Palethe we show you the Belgian selection for the World Photographic Cup 2021.

This international competition is also called the Olympic Games of Photography.

For the 2021 edition, 38 country teams from 5 continents registered.

Category Commercial: Piroska Mihalka, Sven Van Roy, Marc Wallican
Category Illustration/Digital Art: Katti Borré, Carine Van Gerven, Sven Van Roy
Category Nature (Landscape/Wildlife): Ann Coppens, Robert Smits, Kurt Vandeweerdt
Category Portrait: Filip Naudts, 2Photographers (Paul Gheyle & Jürgen de Witte), Robert Biesemans
Category Reportage/Photojournalism: Filip Claus, Evi Polak, Filip Santens
Category Wedding: Robert Biesemans, Raïs De Weirdt, Evi Polak

We are very pleased to announce that our festival chair Carine Van Gerven has been selected for Team Belgium with a picture in the Illustration / Digital Art category.




St. Martin’s Church


Bert Daenen | behind the mask

© Bert Daenen | Achter het masker For the Tongeren photographer Bert Daenen, the corona crisis was a good time to look for the person behind the mouth mask. He photographed the heroes of healthcare in three Limburg hospitals.

With the exhibition “behind the mask” photographer Bert Daenen wants to give the care providers a face and a voice. He went to the Jesse Hospital in Hasselt, the Vesalius Hospital in Tongeren and the Sint-Trudo Hospital in Sint-Truiden. There he photographed doctors, nurses and support staff after what may have been the most intense period of their careers.

We are exhibiting a selection from the photos that were on display during the summer of 2020 in the Refuge House in Hasselt.


Opening hours Sint-Martinuskerk
To be defined



Service Centre Pelle Melle


Eddy Verloes | Losing our minds

In Pelt, Eddy Verloes exhibits photos from his photo and poetry book “Buitenzin / Losing Our Minds”, which will be published in April 2021.
The poems in the book were written by the well-known poet Benno Barnard.

Eddy Verloes describes the connecting thread of his photographs as the eternal quest for the human soul. His focus on detail enhances the narrative character of his work: it’s never about the camera.

A sense of humour and a preference of misty landscapes are an integral part of his pictures, many of which were collected on three previous books. Losing our minds is his first international publication. He was selected as one of the best contemporary photographers worldwide by the American website All-About-Photo.

My series “Losing our minds” was taken at the beginning of the corona crisis 2020: a bizarre, but extremely fascinating period. Man loses his mind because a stormy situation presents itself that is new and challenging for him. Fear tries to overpower him, he freezes, starts to reflect on the world and on the punishment that Mother Nature seems to send us. We have treated our Mother Earth too lightly, demanded too much of her in our egoism. Reflection is necessary.

I want this poetic-philosophical reflection to speak through my images in these corona times. In my series “Losing our minds” I consciously show only young people who are looking for themselves, for the meaning of life and the relationship between man and nature. It is sometimes difficult to draw the line between realism and surrealism, between reality and madness. Are those figures real or staged in my photos? Sometimes we as a layman have the same reaction: is this the real world in which we live or is this madness / surrealism? These are photos of ultra-Orthodox Jews who can enjoy their freedom in an unorthodox way in the storm (of their lives) and escape the lockdown.

My images however try to transcend the anecdotal and in that sense they not only reflect what is going on with the corona crisis in 2020, but they try to be a universal expression. They could take place anywhere in the world and not just on the Belgian coast where these photos were taken in one day and within one hour. The young people in my photos are of course a symbol of change / revolution / going against the tide. They symbolize spring that starts anew every year. Within these young people you see in my images “Einzelgänger”, those who only try to compete against society. Some idealists throw themselves completely and don’t care about anything. Their slogan is straightforward. More than ever we realize through this crisis that man is a social animal and it is difficult to stay in his room. In group we are strong, we go for it and we climb the highest mountains. In this case: dunes of course.

Ultimately, we are so dependent on the forces of nature that we cannot help but be guided by the flow. I consciously placed “Statues in the storm” last because I think the symbolism is the greatest: people become statues, as it were, puny – sometimes pathetic – beings in the universe. The wandering man looking for his own way, reflecting how to deal with himself, the others and the earth.

Is there no hope, no spring found in my images? Definitely. Youth represents spring. She sings, fights (a way), cries, laughs, works, prays and admires. All these aspects can be found in these (primal) images. Let us all be a Ramses Shaffy (famous Dutch singer): self-willed paving our own way with respect for themselves, the Other and Mother Nature.

Benno Barnard

Benno Barnard is a Dutch-language poet who lives in England. An acclaimed anthology of his work, A Public Woman, was published by Eyewear, London, in 2015. In his diaries, renowned for being both lyrical and polemic, he regularly writes about Jewish culture.



Service Centre Pelle Melle


The Jury

This list will be updated end of 2020


The jury | Johan Brouwers, chairman (BEL)

I like to capture the image of people as they occur spontaneously. No deliberate or requested poses. Snapshots in which their glance, their attitude often tells a lot about what they think, including me.


The jury | Kattoo Hillewaer (BEL)

Passionate reportage photographer living in Ghent, Belgium.



The jury | Zjuul Devens (BEL)

Visual artist, photographer, filmmaker, graduated in Visual Arts and Photography. He was lecturer in audiovisual communication and multimedia at the Plantijn Hogeschool of the Province of Antwerp, department of communication management.

He exhibits both nationally and internationally, individually and in group. This is done with photographic work, video installations, slide projections, video, but also with sculpture and installations.

He also collaborates with and for other visual artists, dancers, musicians, theater makers. As a professional photographer, he was a devil-doing-all. Passionate macro photographer. Now he is mainly concerned with the theme of transience. He likes to give dead half-decayed insects a “new life”.

As a volunteer for Child Help, he also photographs and films in Africa. There he discovered the love for documentary photography.

For him, photography and art are a part of his life.


The jury | Andy Hens (BEL/DEU)

To disclose the nature of man through photographs, that is the highest art of photography.

Usually people just look after a photo. People rarely look into it.



The jury | Jim Lowe (GBR)

Jim has been a professional photographer for 40 years, during which time he has worked for the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Portsmouth Polytechnic & Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company. The majority of his images are now captured using digital technology, but he also undertakes assignments using close-up and macro photography using large format cameras. He is well known for his black and white landscapes for which he uses traditional film, hand printing them to exhibition quality. These have been acquired by collectors as far afield as Japan, India, South Africa, Canada and The Republic of Ireland as well as the UK and Europe (London, Moscow, Bath, Wiltshire and Cornwall).

From 2009-2018, as well as continuing with his other activities, Jim, has been lecturing at Falmouth University, Cornwall on The Marine and Natural History Course and was made Award Leader in September 2012.

Jim Lowe was a Vice-President of the Federation of European Photographers from 2000 to 2010 and is currently Chairman of their Qualifications Board. He was amongst the first European Professional Photographers to achieve the FEP, QEP distinction in Architecture and from the 45 British photographers who have gained this qualification is the only one qualified and practising Architectural Photography.



The jury | Carol Olerud (UK)

Carol gained her Associate Distinction with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in April 2018 in the Conceptual and Contemporary genre with a panel of fifteen photos.

She is the joint organiser for the Benelux Chapter of the RPS since June 2020. Carol runs the Study Group Zoom sessions every three weeks, which is very successful.

Carol was born in Australia and lives in The Netherlands, she is an active member of many photography groups. She is the Dutch co-ordinator of the National Group Documentary Photography in the Fotobond, with 38 members from all over the country.

Carol is also the co-ordinator of the photography collective Visie+ which is a regional group. She also is the chairman at the local photo club Fotowerkgroep De Verbeelding and she is also a member of LeVeL 5, which is a small group of amateur photographers.

Carol has experience in judging photos on regional, national and international levels. She was a judge in the Holland International Image Circuit of 2020 where nearly 7,200 photos were judged over a period of three days, a massive task. There were 683 participants from 63 countries.

At regional levels Carol has judged at several themed competitions, e.g. ‘Abstract’, Street photography and other bodies of series of work. She has also judged at yearly portfolio competitions where the best overall winners were selected.

For the Benelux Chapter members yearly exhibitions 2019 and 2020 Carol was one of the jury members for the selection of the best photos.

Carol takes part in masterclasses and workshops and has a general good knowledge of photography in all it’s aspects and genres. She takes part in competitions, has exhibitions and is currently candidate BMK (Bonds Meester Klasse of the Fotobond).



The jury | Jos Verhoogen (BEL)

If I have to find one constant topic, it has to be man himself. Man is in the centre in most of my pictures. Whether it is a famous artist or a mother to be, it is always a challenge to find the right link. A feeling of trust which allows you to make powerful pictures. Pictures that mean more than just the right light or the perfect focus.


Private garden


Ilan Wittenberg (NZL) | Faces of Cairo
HelPhoto, Helsinki, Finland
Vizualizator, Belgrade, Serbia

Open air exhibition at the summer tarrace of Bar Deluux
Opening hours to be decided
Program subject to change