Philosophy consists of two parts: philo and sophia. Sophia is about reason, while philo is about longing. As a philosopher you don’t own knowledge or truth; you strive, you search for it. You long for it like lovers do. It is precisely this in-between state of not-knowing and knowing that interests me. It’s desire itself that moves me to create.
In this ‘in between state’ that longing is I search for a home, a place where I can rest. However, this search remains a desire since it’s only an imaginary home. My homesickness can be stilled by stories, images, words, faces and places, only to slip away when I try grasping them with my pen or brush.
In my work I make an effort to conserve these temporary hiding places, whether I find them in ancient Greece or in my childhood. These refuges give me a moment of rest, albeit contemporary. It’s a place where being and not being can exist at the same time. My work is an expression in colour and words of my desire to be.
Currently I’m working on the theme of transformation and what it means to transform. These days transformations seem to have a strong medical dimension, whether it’s the use of hormones, genetic modification or prosthetic limbs. However, transformations also have a long literary history, from Ovid to Kafka.
Take for example the story of Daphne in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a classic story of transformation. In short, Daphne does not want her unwanted suitor Apollo to pursue her, and she changes into a tree to fend off Apollo. Daphne transformed from a nymph into a laurel tree, and in the process gets a new identity in the form of a symbol of the ruler (the laurel wreath). What if Daphne could forge a new mythology herself, of her being a laurel tree?