I grew up on the north of the Netherlands, in a spacious landscape, meadows and sea. In a neighbourhood with wild fields, bare fallow lands, that filled with wild flowers and plants and became a paradise for butterflies. This Dutch wilderness is my habitat and inspiration. My work is a call for the raffled edges and messy leftovers of nature; better not make everything clean and neat. Let the unexpected and unfinished be, and grow between the cracks.
I want to hold on to the romanticism of wild nature. But as soon as you try to capture it in an image, you are forced to analyse, abstract and make choices, just to reach the effect of wild nature. A cultivated nature, like all around us. An illusion of freedom and unspoilt nature.
In my work I’m looking for a certain arrangement in the chaotic growth of nature. Shapes of trees and plant are visible in my work, but in such a way, that it becomes a whole of structures and rhythms. When you observe a verge or wooded bank, you will see a tangle of leaves, branches and shapes, not the individual plant or tree. That feeling: the wind through the leaves, an intimate place, the play of light and shadows. I’m observing nature as a romantic, not as a botanist; rather experiencing things, than recording them.
The road I follow when I’m starting a new series of drawings, leads from observation towards abstraction. The figurative elements disappear somewhere along the way and the focus will be on structures, rhythm and composition. The organic character of nature is constrained by formal aspects of the image; structure, nuances in light and dark, texture and composition. These elements are also part of nature and do therefore not hinder the experience of the landscape.
For more than five years now, I focus on drawing: charcoal, ink, crayon and other, all black and white. In my drawings in ink on paper I use brushes of natural materials, like grasses and plants, to make organic structures. I’m balancing between letting the image grow by accident and controlling the way it will become. In recent works I use old drawings to make new works of art. Collages and small sculptures; upcycling unfinished works, using a collection of years that was just waiting in a drawer. The time put into these works not wasted, but invested into something new, creating extra condensed and intense collages.
I am captured by the intangible and immaterial. The subject of my work is experience; sometimes a mystical experience, sometimes a physical or sensory experience. Nature to me is an atmosphere of quiet, space and freedom.