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Het Einde/ The End

The performer has hung up their costumes and masks and wants to perform as themselves again. True faces hidden behind layers and mirages, both un-masking and masking, ready for a performance or having just performed, still performing, the audience decides.

They bake themselves a beautiful new head, cut off their old one, replace it with a cabbage while its in the oven, and everything is happy ever after. Just like that.


Here I use enchanted realism to tell my own story, the flatness of the figures and pieces a pop-up book and stage to explore personal experiences of repression, judgement, surveillance and gossip. Examining authenticity, reality, circumspection, reincarnation.

Characters are like cut-out paper dolls, souvenirs, easy to move, wearing their cheap constructed versions of traditional Dutch dress. Like theatre flats, the wood has lived a life of its own, repurposed, dotted with pencil lines from another life, but it is beautifully marked and lives to tell the tale. My pieces propped up like the open leaves of a book, the painted pieces are glamorous lies that tell the truth. MDF cut-out characters come forward, breaking free from the rigid pages and silence and noise of words and speech, liberating themselves from riddles and pages, but they are still illusions in themselves, and just as flat as the paper they tore themselves from. 

Fascinated with the grotesque and beautiful, archetypal depictions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ so starkly represented in fairy tales, I stray here from the narrative, concerned with the messy ambiguities and complex greys of life. I am the main character in my own book, deviating from the oral transmission to portray how stories take on their own lives, of Mother Goose spinning yarn. Like a book I utilise spoken word, a reminder of my cultural hybridity with its own layers of deceptions and trickery, for English speakers, the truth shrouded by a layer of language, and for Dutch, cloaked with imprecise translation and pronunciation, never quite getting it right. The unusual voice that once haunted me has gained the right to speak, and the audience is forced to listen.


Using saturated carnivalesque colours, I contrast hot and cold tones, the pieces themselves blowing hot and cold, overwhelming, mirroring internal emotions and external conditions. I am powerful and powerless, the protagonist and antagonist, mirrors of my deepest emotions.

Paintings become my expression from strained peace and rigid silence, pigments rising to the surface, my crimson and words a closed book. Its own world within, teaming with characters, a story of it’s own. In another language it isolates itself, the events have occurred, attempts at helping the character are fruitless. The character knows its place and, unlike a theatre, there is no great enunciation of expression.


The usage of grotesque lighting further exemplifies these themes,  creating monstrous shadows, pieces illuminated in the warm light, ghost like fragments of my former self, cooking in the oven of their own creation. 


This duality as I see myself in them, pity them, understand them, understand myself, angry at myself, love myself, love them, fear myself, fear them, relationships of power and dominance and grieve the me I left behind, now so two dimensional, and no longer dreaming. 

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