Negative Capability

Thirty years ago, I was diagnosed with the lifelong brain disease Multiple Sclerosis. I want to show how living with MS requires ‘Negative Capability’. The poet John Keats defined this concept as the talent to live in uncertainties, to draw strength from limitations, mysteries and setbacks. Just as in the process of making art.

Ingredients for Resistance

 The Process of Producing Herbal Tea on a communal garden.

Commissioned Work for the Rotterdamse Munt in the South of Rotterdam.

Our Golden Age

Our Golden Age Poverty and hunger are phenomena associated with countries far from our daily western lives. Most people are not aware that even in 2021, in a wealthy country like the Netherlands, more than 1 million people are living below minimum income level.

Saskia Risseeuw confronts us with a reality we usually keep hidden from our eyes. She shows us the reality of the Food Banks. In the Netherlands people with a low income can collect a box of food ‘leftovers’ from the Food Bank on a weekly basis. These ‘leftovers’ are donated to the food banks by all kinds of shops, enterprises and institutions. Over the last decade, the Food Bank has developed into a large logistics company run by volunteers.

In her work on the Food Bank, still-lifes from the Dutch 17th Century Golden Age were a major source of inspiration for her. These paintings exposed the backside of the image of abundancy we have of those days. Her work shows us a similar uneasy relation between abundancy and poverty in modern times.

The Asparagus Is Bitter

The Last Summer of a Greenhouse in Rotterdam. This Greenhouse was part of a communal garden on a pier in the River Meuse (Nieuwe Maas). The ground was sold to a project developer. Apartment blocks will replace the garden and its greenhouse.

Reading Room Rotterdam West

The Reading Room is an independent library run by locals.
It contributes to the community life in a city in which none of the many cultural backgrounds is in majority.