My art is meant to invite the viewer to do research on what is there; to develop a higher consciousness. Yet my work is not meant to create differences between people; I put something in it that I hope expresses that we are equal to each other, both looking. My image of the higher self or consciousness is something that transcends hierarchy, authority and judgments and dissolves, they do not matter anymore.
The question ‘what do you mean by your work’, I find difficult to answer. After all, I want to create something, but I do not want to fill in what the spectator experiences. Her/his experience with my work is more important than my intention; it is my intention that she/he becomes aware of this. My images and sounds are therefore not vague or spherical; they are very concrete in terms of image, but abstract in meaning.
My images indicate from outer facets, the exterior, in which you refer to images that are known, is actually not important. The interpretation that I find most important is on a personal level: my work is about nothing but it is about you.
How one can look at my work is not to look at what it means to me, the maker, but what does it show the viewer? What does it tell you and what does it matter to you. In that sense it is symbolic reflective; it is a mirror in which someone gets the chance to see himself. And because everyone is always different, you can always see something different in my work. My work does not pretend to determine whether to be a representation of something. It does not show where you have to go or what is wrong with you, but the work comes from and is space. An example is the triptych which I called The Golden Series. At first glance the images and the name seem to point to something that is perfect. The three women are in ritualistic postures and are surrounded and decorated by specific shapes and colors. The whole feels like an almost mathematical perfection and the word ‘gold’ also refers to an aspect of perfect beauty. However, the images are a sea of space in which the human spectator is confronted with his own nakedness and feeling or lack of alignment with an aspiration for purity. Feelings that accompany this can be shame, sadness, strength, peace, clarity, silence etcetera. These are reactions to the reflection in the person, and not qualities that I wanted to put into the image. Precisely by basing myself on a spatial interpretation of perfection and purity, I allow the spectator to consult himself. At least, this is my intention. It remains the spectator himself to make the step.
I make different kinds of art. But something that comes back a lot is femininity, and in my visual art this translates into images of women.
This has several reasons. One important thing is that I am a woman myself and want to create from myself. Femininity then necessarily occurs to me. But in addition, it is also a fascination with me; the mystery of femininity. What is femininity and what has value? A large part of my art is a research on this.
This research is fed with ideas and insights that come from my deepening in history and culture of femininity:
- companies in which women are in power
- religion in which the feminine is honored
- my period
Because a part of my work examines femininity, a spectator (and myself) may wonder how our current Western zeitgeist looks at femininity. In this I also recognize an important function of art; making subconscious assumptions, opinions and thought patterns visible. It is precisely through imagination with contrast or magnification that my work can show what we find today in our society, collectively and individually. It is important here that I want to bring the spectator to research, and not to interpret for him or her, even though I naturally gain insights in this process.
Precisely by basing myself on a spatial interpretation of perfection and purity, I allow the spectator to consult himself. At least, this is my intention. It remains the spectator himself to make the step.elise van meene