‘The world of the imagination can feel more like reality than reality itself’

Since 2013 my work has consisted of photos that I have woven into Gobelins.
Originally, the term ‘Gobelin’ could only be used for tapestries that were woven in the ‘Manufacture des Gobelins’ in Paris. Nowadays it is used as a general reference to woven tapestries. I use the term Gobelin because I like the sound of the word, but particularly because it refers to history.

Originally, Gobelins were intended as insulation for the cold inner walls of castles. But at a very early stage, the ornamental function of these tapestries became very important too. Traditionally, stories are depicted on Gobelins. I use the modern form of this ancient weaving technique to represent today’s stories.

In my work I depict situations with the intention of evoking stories in the spectators. I always try not to be too literal, so spectators have space to discover their own stories. I find evoking stories important because I think our ability to tell them is an essential part of our being. I worked in health care for a while. There, it became clear to me that if a person is no longer able to tell about an event, however small, this person will gradually loose his or her feeling of significance, of ‘mattering’.

When I have an idea for a new work I try to find a suitable location and the right clothes, shoes and props.
On site, I stage the entire situation and then make photos using a self-timer or assistant.
One theme in the work is alienation. I consciously choose dresses, bags, shoes from the past. With these, I want to reinforce the feeling of alienation from the environment.
This also informed my decision to have the photo woven instead of printed.

In all my works I am the model myself. Of course this is practical because I am always available. But for me, it is also an essential part of the making process, to create a certain ‘world’ and be part of that world myself at that moment, to be in that situation for a moment.

When I have a good photo, I have it turned into a weaving pattern. Together with the weaver I choose the right colours of wool and cotton. Next, a couple of samples are woven. In the basis of these samples I can still make changes and adjustments, after which the definitive Gobelin is woven.
Depending on the image I determine if the Gobelin must be woven in colour or in black/grey/white. In some Gobelins I then embroider parts of the image to emphasize certain parts that support the theme.

The Gobelin weaving technique and embroidery appeal to me because I love the maze of coloured threads that together form an image.
I use the attractiveness of the material to move spectators closer until they see that it is not always pretty what I depict.

About "Verhuisd naar twee kasten"