I’m an hand embroidery artist, originally from the Netherlands but have been living nomadically since July 2017, travelling from place to place to create work based on the places I visit. My works are observations of a nomad passing through, without judgement or declaration of value. These time consuming, intricate silk embroideries are meditations on a place, stitch by stitch they’re shaped into loving, detailed dedications to nature and the people who live there. They’re small and intimate, they ask the viewer to come close and enjoy them privately. They can sometimes be worn as jewellery, to allow them to go further into the world beyond the place they were created, taking on a nomadic ‘life’ of their own as it were.
The observations I create these works about are always representing people, not in an individual way but as a collective in our relationship with our surroundings. In what way does the nature of the land represent the nature of the people and what is the balance between them? This is the question I start with at the beginning of every residency, when I go out and explore my new surroundings looking for observations. Many of the residencies I do are in rural areas and communities, and every piece starts with exploration of the place.
Embroidery and walking through nature aren’t as unlike each other as you might think. Both are quiet, solitary and simple activities. They’re like meditation in the way that your whole world becomes very small and focused-one more stitch, one more step forward. I strive for the same quietness and focused state of mind when I’m embroidering as when I’m exploring nature.
My work is craft based in the sense that I hone my craft and my skills in service to the nature the embroideries are dedicated to. The way I see it, the nature is the art, is the masterpiece, and any art I make should exist in symbiosis with it. Just like the observations are about nature and people as a collective, the medium of embroidery and mastery thereof also requires me to give up a sense of ego and dedicate myself to representing these observations to the best of my ability.
The embroideries should be beautiful and skilfully done, to the very best of my abilities and always striving for improving, but their function shouldn’t be simply to show off my skill or enchance my ego, they should serve to compliment and encourage the beauty of the world around us.
List of Residencies
Here you can see a list of the residencies I’ve done so far and the ones I have coming up.
November/December 2012: Artist in Residence at Listhus, Olafsfjordur, Iceland
January 2013: Artist in Residence at Blonduos Textile Center, Blonduos, Iceland
March 2013: Artist in Residence at Rose Atelier, St.Armand de Puisaye, France
May 2013: Invited Researcher in Residence at International Institute of Puppetry, Charleville, France
September 2013-June 2015: Selected studio artist at Het Paleis studios, Groningen, the Netherlands
April 2015: Artist in Residence at Villa Elaintarha, Helsinki, Finland
April 2016: Artist in Residence at Rainvanguarda, Gois, Portugal
May 2016: Artist in Residence at Blonduos Textile Center, Blonduos, Iceland, as part of a knowledge exchange residency program
November 2016: Artist in Residence at Atelier Austmarka, Hedmark, Norway
March 2017: Artist in Residence at Qingyun International Art Center, Beijing, China
September 2017: Artist in Residence at Estonian Artist Association, Tallin, Estonia
October-November 2017: Artist in Residence at RUD Air, Laxarby, Sweden
January-February 2018: Artist in Residence at Stiwdio Maelor, Corris, Wales
March 2018: Artist in Residence at ArtFarm, Newbridge, Galway, Ireland
April 2018: Artist in Residence at Rainvanguarda, Gois, Portugal
May-July 2018: Artist in Residence at Art Villa Garikula, Akhalkalaki, Republic of Georgia
August-September 2018: Artist in Residence at Interdiciplinary Art Group SERDE, Aizpute, Latvia
October 2018: Artist in Residence at Destelheide, Dworp, Belgium
November-December 2018: Artist in Residence at Lakkos Arts Residency, Heraklion, Crete