Trained as an artist/photographer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KABK) in The Hague, I worked as a photographer in the editorial and commercial field for many years. Over time and especially after my 2.5 year stay in Berlin, where I worked on a project concerning the apparent invisibility of The Berlin Wall, I moved more and more towards art photography, leaving my commissioned work behind me. This created space for a new obsession, plants! Expanding from houseplants (no more space inside) to garden plants (wait, I have a balcony) and trees, I became interested in garden and landscape design. With the completion of my landscape and urbanism design course at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Amsterdam, I felt my love for art, design and nature were coming together. Since then I have designed gardens for private clients and urban/landscape design for the municipality of Amsterdam.

Below (see text and gallery) you can find more about me.

(a selection of)
my favourite places in my hometown

I can still remember my excitement as a curious fourteen-year-old punk kid when I travelled to Amsterdam by train for the first time. My heart started pounding when we got closer to Central station and we couldn’t wait to get of the train. We were a bit naïve, we took the first train from Heerlen, all the shops were still closed and we were greeted by drug dealers at the Damrak, but we loved it! All of our three days left on the Tienertoer-pass were spent on trips to the big city. Amsterdam was a lot rougher around the edges back then and I’m so thankful my friend wanted to get her hair dyed at the trailer park on KNSM Island where the city nomads still lived. We spend our afternoon with a young alternative English couple that resided in an old touring bus. It felt so free and a whole new world of opportunities opened up to me. It’s hard to imagine if you visit the area today.

Amsterdam lost a lot of its romance since. Almost all those creative safe havens have disappeared outside of the city ring, a lot of residential areas where build and Amsterdam has become more cramped then ever. It seems that most neighbourhoods nowadays are organised around one or two functions, one primarily for housing, one for entertainment, for shopping, working or tourism. The mix appears to be lost. Thinking about my favourite places I realized that I prefer a more dynamic environment where you can find these inspiring contrasts within one area, where old and new, cheap and expensive, young and old, black and white, relaxation and work come together, like at a gas station or hospital.
I like that vivacity of the city, but the busier it gets, the more frequently I find myself looking for open spaces where I can breathe and be alone for a while. Places where I can escape the messiness and many sensations of the city I love so much. I guess life in the city is complicated and we need both in our life, inspiring and uplifting places to live in and peaceful and green areas to escape to. It would be great if this could be achieved in the nearby vicinity of your home and therefore becomes accessible to all.
In the gallery below you can find a selection of places that represent qualities that I like. I am looking forward to have fond memories of them in the future as well.

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