I carved the phrase “everything of value is defenceless” (“alles van waarde is weerloos” from a poem by the Dutch artist Lucebert) in stone during my education in sculpture. It still is an important theme in my work.
When is something still of value? Old handwritten notebooks, shards of ceramics, torn fabrics, discoloured paper. I feel so much value in the things that people often overlook or throw away as old and worn out. They are defenceless but there is so much beauty and fragility in the broken, the discolouration, the frayed edges. I want to highlight the beauty of the traces of time and make them tangible. My works are about time especially about how we deal with the past. Not holding on to or forgetting the past but transforming it into something new.
My preferred medium is collage. Every collage is a form of play. Shifting all those pieces back and forth until I feel a shift, a moment of balance. That moment of balance gives a sense of peace and pleasure. Each collage is an attempt to get a grip on the world, a sense of myself.
I live and work in Antwerp, Belgium. Wandering in and around the farm, during childhood in the Netherlands, shaped my preferences. My affinity for old books, worn materials, objects with a (personal) history have their origins here. The texture and traces of time that become visible in the materials inspire me every time to collect and process. Collage (or assemblage) is my medium. I organise and arrange elements into new, mostly abstract compositions.
Besides being a creative therapist, I (1963) also studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Art was and is constantly at the centre of my professional work activity. I have worked as a creative therapist and art educator in museums for the past 35 years. If you are interested in that part of me, I refer to the Derde Verdieping