Art should express life, indulge in its emotions, and artists should have something to say to their fellow human beings, conscious of sharing the same flesh and soul.

The themes I deal with are vulnerability, dreams, aggression and fears, but I am uncomfortable with moralizing, so I choose the surrealistic way of expression.

Rather like in a fairy tale, underneath every cheerful image I make, the viewer can perceive a disconcerting element.

Being interviewed on radio by the BBC's arts correspondent Will Gompertz, BBC arts correspondent - with Madam Freude

I feel connected to times of magic like the Middle Ages, where form, imagination and devotion are still intertwined.

On my journey through life I look for that same wholeness, bringing together materials that are seemingly incompatible and creating composites of human and animal elements. That is why I chose freely from both painting and sculpture to express myself.

In my objects I combine ceramics with knitting, such as ‘Madam Freude’ (joy in German). She is a modern day version of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor, the embodiment of joy and dance yet also meet-and-greeter of the dead souls. Death lurks in happy places…

‘Belonging’ is my latest project, a series of collages, combining cut-outs on watercolour paintings.  The ‘recycled’ paper I use for the cut-outs, are little tokens and memories from my own life; the train ticket I bought to go and see my lover, the CD sleeve I found in an office whilst waiting, the packaging of a tin consumed on holiday. ‘Belonging’ speaks of a life as fragile and versatile as paper.

To belong somewhere, anywhere, means to find a place where you can connect to your fellow human beings and to acknowledge and acquire your surroundings; leaving and finding bits of yourself – as I have been doing travelling from my birthplace Amsterdam to Paris and now to England. Finding love and hatred, jealousy and forgiveness, and in the process of this, dealing with being alone and disconnected. 

Caged birds

Watercolour & Cuttings

70 x 50 cm, 2012