1993, The Image as Burden
To carry and be carried
To carry and be carried were the words that sprung to my mind when I first saw the painting The Image as Burden by Marlene Dumas. In her painting, Dumas stresses the importance of allowing ourselves to be carried by others. It immediately inspired me to think of what I believe are the most important things in life: caring for and loving one another, the bonds we form with each other, showing concern for each other's well-being and being attentive to the needs of others.
This commitment to each other is the common thread that has run through my own life and work.
How I came to this work
I have been heavily involved in artistic and cultural events for over thirty years (theatre, architecture, urban design, landscaping, photography, the visual arts and design). My heart always beats a little faster whenever I see artists and designers bringing people together and making the world a better place for us all. As a partner in the Ketter&Co Foundation I have recently worked on a wide range of projects, including the Collectie Veenhuizen scheme that enables young designers and prison inmates to work closely together.
The departure of members of my own family has provided me with first-hand experience of how important the support, attentiveness and meticulousness of a funeral director can be. These experiences eventually drew me to a new career. In 2012, I trained and qualified as a funeral director and have since been organising funerals on a regular basis. In 2014, I also started working as a volunteer providing care to the residents of the Veerhuis Hospice in Amsterdam.
My focus always remains firmly on supporting the bereaved by providing the care and attention they require and easing their burden of worry when saying farewell to a loved one. I see it as my responsibility to carry out the wishes of both the deceased and the bereaved to the best of my ability. This is particularly important in the immediate aftermath of a death, an often-trying period for those left behind.