I’ve worked for 10 years as a psychiatric nurse. However, after a burn-out I knew it was time to make a change and I decided to go do what I’ve always wanted to do: attend art school to study Fine Arts. So, I applied to the Royal Academy in The Hague, got accepted, went through 4 years of struggling and graduated in 2018 with my graduation exhibition (and thesis): A Structure of Feeling.
I’m primarily a painter and halfway through art school I became enchanted by my own daily surroundings. This was quite remarkable for me, because some years before I’d moved from The Hague to the Westland (known for its many greenhouses) and it was quite a change. It’s a strange and alienating environment, like some suburban in-betweenness: I always had a sense of being in between a rural and an urban environment, without ever really being part of either of them. It took me quite some time to get used to my new home. However, halfway through art school I started to see my “new”environment differently. Suddenly I saw beauty everywhere I looked, some type of dislocated beauty and, over time, it became a metaphor to me for our society. I started painting these landscapes.
I believe we, the people, have become increasingly alienated from each other and our communities. On top of that we seem to have lost all connections with nature, even to a point where contemporary nature is increasingly represented by an artificial design that has to generate the mere illusion of nature. However, the way we build, shape and inhabit our world and the place we assign to nature herein says something about us, as humans. My work is an attempt to grasp this (uneasy) relationship and ultimately, to formulate a new narrative of longing and hope, structured on my belief in the possibilities of a better future for our society.
My paintings often start with photographs of my surroundings or images I find on the internet. These pictures go through a process of adding and removing in Photoshop and usually I’ll make some sketches to try out different compositions. Eventually this will be the starting point for a painting.