emjan 2017.jpg

Interview with emjan

January 2019

1. Which role does time play in your work?

Time is important. Take the Lucky Lines. A remark for instance is made in a split second. It is so little to make work with. I am giving it attention. I wash the paper lovingly,

make smudges as if the paper has lived. All the decisions I make for just one remark or one emotion. Through stretching time, I am adding meaning to something.

2. Since when do you use embroidery in your work?

Since my graduation actually. It has to do with the time which goes in it –

and also with my mother. I grew up surrounded by handwork and I loved the time she spent on it.

For my graduation project, I made portraits of my heroes' heroes. For example I drew a quick portrait of a friend of mine and combined it with a huge embroidered portrait of his hero, Olivier B. Bommel (an anthropomorphic bear from a famous Dutch comic strip series, hvm).

I wanted to show the idealization in time. Through spending time, I honoured it.

3. For Lucky Lines to your best friends (PS), you made a box with 52 pages.
In the physical exhibition which took place recently, was the public allowed to rearrange the pages? If so, why (or why not)?

I did not stop anyone to do it at the exhibition, but I arranged everything in a way that the situation did not really occur, because the order has meaning to me.
There only was space to look through the pages one by one. I put gloves next to the box. People did not need to use them, I only wanted to show that they should handle the work with care, that it is fragile.

4. What is the best part of being an artist?

The BEST part has to be the part where I don't quite know where the work is going yet, but the going there is playful, unafraid and exciting.
The part where anything is still possible and I can still allow anything to happen.

So I guess... the MAKING part.

5. Are there any projects you are busy with at the moment?
Yes, there are, but I prefer not to talk about it yet. For me, if a work is not finished, it is like a bow held with a certain tension.
When I talk about it, it can crack. Talking about it during the process takes away the freedom.