‘Om mani padme hum’. That’s what the Buddhist say to remind you of the fact that the roots of a beautiful lotus lies in the mud. The roots of my installations lies in a difficult upbringing. As a child I was told over & over again that I was a hysterical person. A drama queen. An actrice. A monster, for I was trouble. I guess one part of me was hurt like hell by this stigma but another part somehow knew that this could not be ‘the truth’. I was not a monster. Oh yes, I remember
well: I reacted like a monster to awful situations, but somehow, something deep down in me knew that my essence never ever could be a hysterical one, though yes I screamed & shouted a lot. Don’t feel sorry for me. Being abused has put me on a wonderful quest for finding the core elements of self esteem. [but to be honest, it took me quite some years to think this way]
I understand now that the roots of my work lies in the mud. This is my heritage: My suffering has become the beating heart of my quest to search for the meaning of [self]respect. What does that mean, what is it, what is it ‘made of’. To me it’s a collection of virtues like trust, courage & openness. It almost makes me feel like a stamp collector: I still miss some importants parts like patience, some days I feel like a detective: someone stool my self esteem! Who done it? But most of the time I feel like a philosopher: Can it be stolen? Can it be lost?
Or like a laborant: searching for the key elements of create my own self esteem. But let’s be honest. There are still days that I feel like that helpless girl. These are not my most wonderful days. But that mind of an artist keeps me alive: I search -over & over again- for the ‘right’ shape to visualize the wonderful elements that defines our nature. And, yes, it’s a personal story but my work is never about a private situation. I try to make an effort to pump up the quality of my work to a universal level. After all, we all know about suffering, don’t we? Sure I make some theatre out of it, but never ever drama again.
These last years I am searching for some new forms in which I can visualize these important virtues. For I fear that without awareness of our virtues we become careless, not only to ourselves but also to each other. We can easily turn into dominant, manipulative behaviour. Bullying the other by measuring our ‘value’ by material wealth instead of our inner wisdom.
My main material for creating installations in which the visitor can experience virtues like f.e. stillness has become sheep wool. Her profound quality of warmth and softness is wonderful. She is a Queen of Transformation. And if she can transform her ‘self’ maybe my mind is able to transform tragedy into wisdom?
Or should Isay ‘female’ wisdom? I truly believe our crazy world is in need of female wisdom. Like [political philosopher] Hannah Arendt [1906-1975] once said “men are concerned with dead, women are concerned with life,for they are the ones who give birth to new life.” It’s about time that the very essence of female wisdom wakes up again: to appreciate live. No matter what. To rediscover the Art of Gratitude. That’s all. That’s difficult enough. Poor earth. We humans are too much occupied with making money instead of living together.
Since 2012I spin pure wool into knitting yarns in order to create monumental installations of sheep wool. Main idea: to give visitors an experience in which they can meet the energy of virtues like tenderness and reflection. And it seems to work. When I read the reactions written in the guestbook I feel stimulated to go on and ‘built’ my female church: a cathedral of sheep wool. But that will take me some more years.
Meanwhile I made some installations that will be part of this cathedral in the end. Installations like ‘chapel of sheep wool’ [shown in museum Kranenburgh & entrance hall of EndeMol Shine Group] ‘books of sheep wool’ and ‘a family tree’.
If you would like to stay in contact about my work, sent me an e-mail and I keep you update for the installation: ‘the Embrace’, which will be ready to visit around May 2018 @Texel – again in that beautiful old barn, as part of the Klifhanger Festival. See Linkedin & facebook