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Photo by John Smits

Artist statement


November 30, 2020

Every human being bears an essence. It is the true human identity thatmakes every individual unique from one other. Vulnerability, as I perceiveit, allows one to touch someone else's essence. People in the West seemto gradually lose their vulnerability. Modern society is becoming too hecticfor a frighteningly increasing number of people. Civilisation is obsessedwith making infinite progress. We are always longing for somethingdifferent from what we are used to, and we see this tendency all around us. 

Since my early youth, I have gained skills in photography, filmdirecting, singing, acting, composing, painting and writing. I have alwaysbeen interested in the variety of mediums and intertwining them witheach other. I am interested in the use of long shots, after being inspiredby the way Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky used these in his films Stalker(1979) and The Sacrifice (1986). I admire long takes in cinematographybecause they somehow merge the mediums of film and painting. Theattention is directed to the landscape and surroundings rather than thechange of shots. December 2019, I shot my short film The Translator inthe Swiss-French mountains. The narrative of the film was based onexperiences in my early childhood. Without intending, I created anautobiographical work that shows links to my youth in relation to nature.In the upcoming years, I hope to exhibit and present my work to abroader audience. In my current project, for now going by the nameNiemandsland (No-Man’s-Land), I hope to bridge the gap between thehighly technological society, on the one hand, and the self, on the other.

Other inspirations of mine are artist Richard Long whose work literally setsstone in nature and seems to re-establish the relationship between manand nature, and Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich whose work, tome, does not seem to be about nature or mankind in particular, but aboutthe presence of both, meeting each other in the landscape. WhatTarkovsky, Long and Friedrich have in common is the calmness andsimplicity that speak from their work. This is a quality that I want to bringforward in my work as well.The stories of landscapes come to me as a voice. I call it the voiceof nature. Nature is my escape from the modern world into nostalgicdreams. Through wandering in abandoned landscapes (a no-man’s-land) Iwant to allow myself to be led by a good dose of intuition, whiledocumenting it all, using my head and following my heart. That manner,in the light of this research, might guide me towards the creation of an artwork.



Auto-biography


I was born in Zutphen, a little town on the east side of the Netherlands on 1 December 1999. Zutphen has been my home for most of my life. All the memories of my youth are rooted in this town; in the IJssel river on its side, in the stones of the medieval city streets and in the plenty number of towers all over the centre.

Nature Already at a young age, I was interested in different forms of art. I wrote stories and poems, photographed, filmed, painted, acted, sang and played the piano. Especially my mother who comes from a family of painters and writers encouraged me to develop my artistic talents. My father who is a more rational-minded but sensitive man passed his love for nature and perseverance onto me. While we were abroad, in nature, my father would hand me his camera and I would film and photograph the abandoned landscapes, mountains, streetlights in the darkness, and made closeups of bees and flowers that came on our path.

Acting As I became more interested about movement and performance, I joined a youth theatre where I learned about improvisation, body awareness and how to use my voice. I absolutely loved it and was eager to learn. I showed potential and soon they asked me to join the advanced level. We worked towards professional productions and in those six years of training, I learned plenty about myself on stage and directing my, sometimes explosive, energy. Later, I gained some experience in acting and was casted for a role at Dutch leading theatre company Toneelgroep Oostpool and was directed by Marcus Azzini.


Painting
I made some spray-paints and worked with acryl and charcoal on large canvases. An older befriended artist offered me his atelier to work in and taught me about composition and how I could build up dynamic images. Also, my grandfather took me out for painting. I developed an abstract style with figurative details that can be interpreted as details in landscapes. I was intrigued by trees like the oak tree and the weeping willow. I observed their shapes closely and implemented them in my work. Sometimes I did so very physically like in a series of nightly spray-paints in blue and black. I collected leaves and branches and sprayed them over.


Film and photography
Without formal training I developed a number of skills: from operating a camera to film editing and web building. During high school, my friends and I shot a couple of short films that were nominated for several international youth film festivals including Festival Plasencia Encorto in Spain and Nationaal Film Festival Scholieren in the Netherlands.

Art school It seemed obvious to continue my family's artistic thread and I was determined to enrol in a drama school. I did a pre- bachelor’s programme at ArtEZ University of the Arts and auditioned at academies both in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. After being rejected for every single programme, I began to doubt my artistic capacities and applied both for medical and journalistic studies. Just in time, I found Maastricht Academy of Interdisciplinary Arts (iArts).



Schools
- 2018-2021 BA Maastricht Academy of Interdisciplinary Arts (NL)
- 2018-present Toneelacademie Maastricht (NL), vocal/piano

Trainings
- 2018-2020 Aikido Maastricht (NL), aikido by R. Vincken
- 2018 Maastricht University (NL), simulative acting BA and MA psychology
- 2017-2018 ArtEZ University of the Arts & Toneelgroep Oostpool, Arnhem (NL), acting course
- 2010-2016 Jeugdtheater Zjuust, Zutphen (NL), youth theatre

Acting
- 2017 Toneelgroep Oostpool, Arnhem (NL), 'Brood & Spektakel', directed by Timomthy de Gilde and Marcus Azzini

Music production
- 2019 ADE Company, Lanaken (BE), Composed dance music for ‘Unfold’, premiere at Kumulus (dependence Theater aan ‘t Vrijthof), directed Yvette van der Slik

Awards
- 2017 Nomination Festival Plasencia Encorto (ES)
- 2016 3rd price NFFS, Lelystad (NL)
- 2015 Nomination Festival Plasencia Encorto (ES)

Exhibitions
- 2019 Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent (BE)
- 2019 The Be, Maastricht (NL)
- 2018 Ainsi, Maastricht (NL)