Updated: Jun 16
About belonging to the road and feeling at home within oneself
About two years ago, Harri and I gave up our apartment, sold the majority of our belongings and converted an empty van into a mobile home. We were curious about a different way of life, about what it would be like to step outside our usual context, and how it would be to travel ánd be at home at the same time. Since that moment we've stayed in many wonderful places, in the Netherlands, but also in Norway and just about all the countries you come across on the journey to Turkey.
The new collection was created over the course of an 8-month journey through Southeastern Europe. It is titled 'Of the road' which for me symbolizes belonging to the journey, the process, to myself. A homecoming of sorts in being on the road. A sense of ease in the self, a growing ability to slow my breathing and relax my muscles. I experience this when we shut the doors of our van and forget about the world outside completely, but also when I feel small in nature. On a long walk, I would suddenly stumble upon a painting, a moment or scene that resonated so deeply that it was buzzing from within. Or something suddenly 'clicked' in the landscape that glided by. Sunlight that made lines and shapes dance, bodies that were so at home in the unknown.
These paintings don't necessarily show the most breathtaking views we encountered: not the tallest mountains or the deepest cliffs, but the moments in which time appeared to both stand still and continued to ring on forever, like a tuning fork that strikes and vibrates for a very long time. It resonates with deep peace, wonder, acceptance, freedom, connection and love. Not only precious to me, as the creator, but hopefully recognizable and welcoming to you as the viewer.
I hope you get to drown in them for a bit. That they tempt you to move out of the normal activities of your day and make you dream about your feet in the grass and sitting in the sun with your eyes closed. Salt water crystals that make drawings on your skin, encounters with strangers that feel like reunions, opportunities that invite you to make decisions from your heart. I hope they bring you to your wildest adventures and your quietest moments - those that have been and those that are yet to come.
The road, your road, is within you and under your feet. Whether it's paved or overgrown with wildflowers or a maze of turn-offs. Perhaps it lacks bridges or clear signposts or sometimes runs in circles - the road belongs to you and you belong to the road. I hope it will feel more and more like home.
The 'Of the Road' collection consists of 20 works: the 10 oil paintings on canvas shown above and the 10 works on paper that I made in preparation. All 20 can be admired in the Kunstboutique in Havelte until mid-June and are available online at www.dutchartsysouls.nl.