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Takeover: #135 Inge van Heerde



Inge van Heerde: Instagram/Website

Inge van Heerde is a Fine Art and Design in Education alumna from the HKU, who has always continued to make art next to being a high school art teacher.

Making art is a way to better understand herself and everything around her; behavioral patterns of humans, as well as the little things and the big, influential relationships in her life. Inge also involves aspects of alienation and the context of people in their environment, how or if it shapes them. Her fascination for human behavioral patterns is the catalyst of her work. Her artworks stem from personal relationships and experiences but are ultimately presented and transformed into a universal image, recognizable for everyone.

“The works are self-portraits. I am also often the model in my work.”

Photography and film are important media, with which she captures her performances. Inge likes to get out and about, to explore environments and try out different things on the spot. She maintains a playful attitude towards what she sees. After taking the photos, Inge continues to work on them by scratching, sanding and tampering with them, with knives or markers. This process shows the importance of adding and removing layers. By doing so, she appropriates her own images, truly making it her own and making it more substantive.

“Just pictures weren't enough for me. I needed those other actions to master it, to affect the work, to give it more value for myself. To me, those different layers represent patterns that you can remove or add. This slumbers through the works.”

The scratches may look rugged or tough, but they’re not just there for the sake of aesthetics. To Inge, they signify discomfort. In order to get to something new and unique, or to come to your own core, one must break through discomfort and influences from one’s upbringing or society. Her works balance on the line between discomfort, vulnerability, humor and alienation, just like life.

“Life consists of magical and tragic moments, like flying and falling. When does flying turn into falling? It seems to be so far from each other, but it is closer than you might think. I ask myself; what's in between flying and falling, the middle area, the bobbing, the floating?”

As Inge explained, floating is actually a very difficult exercise. Metaphorically, floating can mean having patience and confidence in what is to come. Literally, floating in water, being still and relaxed, is quite hard. To be precisely in the state you want to be in, demands something from you. In her work, she gives this vulnerability a place.

Myths, stories and archetypes about the indomitable and wild woman, standing in her own strength, are a great source of inspiration to Inge. She is drawn to the feeling of being a woman in your own strength, having determined your value for yourself and not worrying about values imposed on you by others and society. The myths might be extreme, working with hyperbole, but the archetypes can teach us something about our own lives. Inge’s works might evoke something recognizable for you, too.

“In life, there are also types of people who exhibit certain typical behavior, like in those myths. You see how they navigate through life and react to each other, how they influence each other. I am able to find recognition in those extremes and to interpret my own behavior”

#135 (26/10 - 1/11 2020) written by Anisa Demirci and Cheyenne Pattiwaël