Since 1997, I have been working on The secret house, a project which consists of sculptural models, photographs portraying the atmosphere within each modeled space, short films, and work on paper. By playing with scale, material, perspective, and structure, I explore how we experience spaces on an emotional level.
Where does the human longing for a home come from? Is there a place in the world for everyone? These questions take me to the realm between intuition and observation. Interior space and its meanings are my special areas of interest.
The time, craft, and intensity required to fashion the models are analogous to the quiet dedication of a contemplative life. I make use of anachronistic details - not in an attempt to resurrect the past, but to make all sense of time disappear. Instead of serving as conventional models, my structures embody a unique reality.
They are portraits of inner spaces and mental images. The project has become a place where ideal and reality meet, a threshold between the imagined and the concrete. In order to live, I need a house - a bounded space that embodies the mystery of the boundless. Just as light seems most intense when streaming into a dark interior. To live a decent life, everyone needs a home. A place you truly want to be. But do our concepts of time and space apply when formulating the idea of "home" as an architectonic space?
My first architectonic project, commissioned by SKOR, the Dutch Foundation for Art and the Public Domain, was carried out in 2009. I designed a non-denominational chapel and meditative space in the new ZorgCompas nursing home located in a multicultural community in Rotterdam. Because there is little place for reflection in our society, what I had in mind was to literally and figuratively make room for quiet contemplation in the middle of a busy nursing home. For this project, I devoted myself to the question: is it possible to formulate the concept of home as a sacred place? Is it possible to experience the intimacy of home in a public space, open to visitors from many different cultures and religious beliefs? My studies into these topics continue today in the form of follow-up projects and lectures on multi-faith spaces and room for contemplation.
My work - only as limited as the imagination - is an ongoing project devoted to the following ideal: that we be sheltered and safe in a public space, and that this public space bolsters our trust when meeting another or facing the unknown.