I have always loved stories, especially first person narratives. As a child, my favourite moment of the day was bedtime story. Safely covered under the blanket in my bunk bed, surrounded by my stuffed animals, I was filled with anticipation. While closing my eyes, I journeyed into the lives of others. Mesmerised by the adventures of my favourite characters, I discovered new worlds within myself. Their stories inspired me to dream, depict and imagine other perspectives about myself and I would regale my fluffy friends with stories envisioning and embodying different futures for us.
During my teens I was fascinated by capturing photographic and video self-portraits. Endless nights were spend highlighting every part of my personality and my many different haircuts. I discovered how my perception of myself and the world changed based on my vantage point. Through the lens I learned to capture, edit and re-edit my self-image.
My need for personal discovery let me in my early twenties to travel the world. Here I learned while making short films that transformation comes from within. In my late twenties I returned home and decided to explore my family history. By developing a visual, sensory and somatic language for the family stories I set out on a journey to better understand the ones that came before me and thus create a deeper understanding of my space and place. By embodying the roles of my family I flirted with the sins of my (un)lived and (un)experienced ancestry. Bringing lightness, playfulness and warmth to the hidden stories, I created room to discover new perspectives. During this research, the vital importance of storytelling became apparent to me. I also experienced the dynamic relationship between the past, the present and the future.
Now in my early thirties my fascination for autobiographical storytelling has taken a turn towards the disintegration of old identities and the integration of new storylines. The space where the old identity falls apart and the new one has not yet emerged. In this ‘space of transformation’ the perception and relation of time, place and meaning changes. New possibilities become available. Choices need to be made. How do we navigate this in-between place, the liminal space? How can we shape the future from this place?
In my projects and work I focus on an organic progression of story. To me this means swimming with instead against the current. By letting go of ideals and preconceived conceptions, I take the next logical step. Through active observation, intuitive listening, sensory perception and rhythmic movement I give room to what wants to emerge. Stories to me are lived, they are alive in us. I am a strong believer that stories are the glue that keeps everything we believe in together and that if we want a different future we can start by looking at the stories we are telling (about) ourselves.
Frouwke Florentina Hendriks
Interdisciplinary artist - entrepreneur
©2018 by MY HUMAN ELEMENT.