Blog Archive


Rianne, Westmaas 2016

This double portrait differs from other drawings I made from nurse Rianne: No skin.
The bed sheet and the fabric of her uniform become subject to the surface now. Her knee bends and both fabrics move along. 
The uniform of the nurse becomes part of a history of painted fabrics in art history. Not a rich sitter's robe though, but a certain sensuality is involved. More to come


faces and fragments

Nurse Nynke in Groningen 2016, work in progress

Again - having stepped in a new portrait project - I bumped into questions regarding representations of the social/political body and the issue of the face. The last weeks I have been drawing after video stills from documentation material of the Visiting Nurses at work. It is as if the movements of the women in other people's homes are a performance. Due to my presence with my camera, the home settings feel like theatre stages. Plus the fact that they 'rehearsed' their work gestures for years already, day in and out.

In theatre faces are hardly visible and the body speaks much more than the mouth and eyes. My drawings are close to the body, in the protected environment of the home. But as soon as i start drawing a face, the drawing stops moving. As if the face is a complete body in itself and needs more breathing space for itself.


I have found that a fragmented view on another's world provides for air in my work. The script of the complete story lives somewhere under the bright white surface of the passe partout, the protective color of the uniform. My drawing notes during conversation with the nurses and their clients frame the fragments I show to you.


Possibly my face drawings are not meant for the world outside. As Michael Taussig writes in his book Mimesis and Alterity: in some way or another one can protect oneself from evil spirits by portraying them. I wonder about the good spirits...