In my art I want to focus attention on issues that are not allowed to be . The dark areas, the denials, the things that are ignored or taboo. I want to highlight those. It has to do with, for example, the dead, the Jewish victims, the elderly, and school children with their silent grief. With the rituals that I design, existential stories emerge and take shape.
Background My mother had seven children in seven years. I was number seven. My mother could not handle this. When I was three weeks old, her own mother died and she collapsed. There was no room for me, and that is understandable. But the feeling that I really was not supposed to be sits deep and has become my motivation.
- In 1995 I graduated from the University of the Arts in Utrecht, department of autonomous design. At that time landscapes and places played an important role.
- Since 1996 I was practicing ‘community art’ though this was not yet in use. It became clear to me that I wanted to give meaning to sensitive processes in society. One of my first projects was the laundry project in my own street (1998).
- Between 1996 – 2008 I executed large-scale art projects around demolition and changes. Everything came together in the last demolition project ‘Jackhammer and Treasure Chamber’ (Zaandam 2003 – 2006). It was mainly about farewell rituals. The projects were innovative and received much financial support and publicity.
- 2005 – present: All Souls’ Day Everywhere. Cemeteries furbished as a hospitable place with light, fire and rituals. Next-of-kin commemorate their dead in a special way. An innovative impulse to the culture of death. In 2008 I won the Yarden prize. Since 2018 All Souls’ Everywhere is also present abroad (Denmark).
- Names and Numbers. (2012 – 2020). A project to commemorate the Jews deported from the Oosterpark neighborhood. Participants are given the opportunity to individually relate to a victim and collectively create a temporary monument. Every year 60 – 70 volunteers and several schools are involved.
- Unknown Legacy! (2017 – 2019) A project for the elderly in which they turn their life stories into an ‘artistic testament and mold it into an artistic form.
- Besides large-scale projects, I also use the rituals for short sessions with groups for different purposes. Guest lectures at the University for Humanistics at the celebrant training since 2016.
Thanks to: Michael van Hoogenhuyze, who has followed me from the very beginning and provided a theoretical framework. Sikko Cleveringa for the many guest lectures at CALXL. Artist Jaap Velserboer with whom I have worked closely together. Artists Itie Langeland, Simone de Groot, Ada Leenheer, Natasja van Eijk, Jessica Panhuysen, Lenneke van de Goot, Saar Frieling, Mechtild Prins, Wendela Kloosterman. Arnold Weel (graphic design), Max Linsen (photography), Louise Koopman (editor) who also provided documentation and publications. The board members of the Allerzielen Alom foundation: Sander Hartog and Lucas van Rooyen and my permanent volunteer, assistant and husband Bill Wei.