Photograph by Andrew Ginther


My family (Mother, Father, 2 brothers and 1 sister) emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands in 1981. I was born in 1982 and we grew up in a small rural community called Puketurua, in the South Waikato. We always had chickens, a huge vege garden, plenty of home baking and homemade clothing, all of which are part of my daily life now. We owned a television for one year but us kids decided to move it into the garage because it interfered with our lego space. We went to the local town library every Friday. One week our family took out 90 books which ended in the library introducing a maximum book limit.

My parents are both very creative and they are both hoarders. My Mother of indoor stuff, my Father of outdoor stuff. Naturally, I am a hoarder of both. My studio is full of old things. Papers, objects, fabrics and recycled building materials which bear the traces and markings of their former lives. I am always peering into skip bins and eyeing up building sites….just in case! When I get an idea for a site-specific art project I start collecting materials directly from the site and surrounding area. This includes building materials as well as anything related to the subject I am researching. e.g plant cuttings. I then use my collections to build my ‘canvas’. The paints I use are left over acrylic house paints found in local dump shops or handed down by friends and family.

Completing my Masters of Fine Arts has helped to cement my direction as an artist. I loved researching in the archives and using my findings to direct my work. I am now focusing on site-specific projects which result in larger installation pieces that overlap painting with archaeology and architecture.