Art is a natural part of who I am. Since I can remember, painting has been my way of exploring and processing interactions, emotions and experiences. It connects me with myself and my surroundings and allows me to show things to others that I cannot express in any other way.
From my earliest youth, I connected to other societies, because my parents did development work all over the world. I grew up with rules and values of different cultures. I learned from indigenous communities that caring for each other and deep trust create a colourful existence, both literally and figuratively. It was within this context that my artistry developed and my desire to express my engagement with the world through my art.
The road to the academy was an obvious one, but my craving for connection with people on the other side of the world was greater. I decided to study biology. Through forest conservation projects, I gained access to communities that were otherwise inaccessible.
I followed my heart to create what I must.
I paint down my memories to show the viewer a different world, a world that we in the West would otherwise never be able to contact. A world in which it is possible to have a sense of community, reciprocal respect for each other and to admire each other's differences.
A world with care and attention for each other, intensive involvement and the awareness that we are responsible for each other and that we function better together than alone. This way of life I do not find in the West, or perhaps it does not exist here anymore.
Life in indigenous communities shows that things can be different from what we are used to, it shows that we can be a team and that there is hope for the world.
Through my paintings, I continue to dedicate myself and others to that awareness, to those people, to honour the collective and to show others that a warm, respectful society is possible.