This series is about connecting the sculptures of the ArtZuid route in Amsterdam with grieving. Loss is inseparably connected with life. We prefer not to think about it. Mourning is the reverse side of love and losing somebody we love hurts, it doesn’t matter whether we talk about dying, job loss, divorce, health or future expectations.
I start with the artist Joseph Klibansky, who made the sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite from Greek mythology wearing an African elephant mask.
Looking at this sculpture I think: ‘Which face do we see when you are grieving?’
We can all interpret how somebody looks, however that doesn’t mean that the person also feels that way. Of course it is great if it reflects the inner truth. When grieving you try to keep your chin up, you don’t want others to see how sad you are.
As a volunteer, I support bereavement groups where the participants are asked to make a drawing of their face. On the left side of the face how they feel from the inside and on the right side how they portray themselves on the outside. Mostly these are beautiful, but also sad drawings, with a lot of insight, which becomes clear when the participant discusses their drawing. It clearly shows that the grieving from within is different than that which is projected out-with and that we are not always willing to show our inner side.
How do you feel from the inside and do you also show this externally? What kind of mask are you wearing?