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I was born in the Netherlands and spend my childhood in a village. All of what I am doing now has been rooted in my childhood. I grew up with classical music, sang along with Maria Callas and struggled with playing the piano. I would dress up and dance through the house to the swanlake off into my own world. I spend my time painting being lost in landscapes I longed for, sewed clothes for different time periods for barbie dolls or created water and rock gardens in the yard. I grew up with ritual in my village that honored the yearly cycles with different festivities.

        

I went to art school in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Art school was a struggle at first. Three months before my final I decided in a desperate attempt to find my own voice to work at home. In the privacy and safety of my own space I began to feel the freedom to express myself. I astounded my teachers with the results. I took two years to explore my art. Then something changed.

I fell in love with an American who was giving a performance in the Netherlands. A year later in 1987 I came to the US and went part time to the Museum School. The first years in the US were very difficult. Life was now about survival and loss of identity in an environment that felt uncaring, ugly and confusing. All the celebrations and rituals had fallen away. There was a loss of beauty that I only found again in the community of musicians. But not being a performer I could not participate and felt left out.

The first wedding ceremony and the first funeral ritual I encountered in the US that came from this community of musicians had a profound effect on me. These were magical events that opened me up to new possibilities. Then reading the book ‘Black Elk speaks’ started the journey. I read a quote by Sun Bear that said:”If you do not like the world in which you live, create one you like.” I took that one very seriously and my first opportunity came through my own wedding ceremony.
I created an elaborate ritual and found a magical space. I did things guided by intuition not knowing what they meant. In the center I planted a forked pole, not realizing that we married with the world tree as well. After that experience I realized that I could not just once create a ritual but had to keep doing it. The next year I created rituals for all the seasons and it happened to be that I had a show of my paintings in December that I had called celebration of life. I created a winter solstice that opened all my creativity and brought all the arts together. I had read about the Hopi’s pulling a sunshield of the wall and doing a fast spinning dance with it to get the sun back on its proper track. I made the shield then realized it could not just be ‘me’ dancing, so I made a mask. Then I had to borrow a sewing machine and made a costume. At this point I had not danced since childhood and now I needed to dance. I decided to use Tai Chi and spin off from that. Then I could not find good songs and thought well if people can publish mediocre songs I could certainly do something better. This ritual pushed me to use all my resources and launched me into the world of sound, movement and mask. The next ten years are a blossoming of my creativity that you see expressed on this website.
There are some special people who’s work have contributed a lot to my life and my thinking. The first one is Saruah Benson who helped me in finding my dance and song, The second is Malidoma Somé who’s work has shaped my rituals and is profoundly affecting me to the core and is bringing more of the genius in me to the world. Emilie Conrad with her work of continuum is another teacher who shaped my thinking, increased my flexibility and gave me tools to deepen my connection with my body, with water, with my environment and with the evolution of life. There are many more who have contributed and supported me along the way, most and for all my ancestors.