Who is Lydia?

 
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A theory of Chaos

I am an artist: Chaos everywhere.

Chaos, as taught to us by science and myth is the beginning of live. 

For me, chaos is always close by. My mind can wander around with thousands of thoughts, leaving a mess around me of equal chaos. (If I just let it be you’d have to do some miraculous gymnastic to enter the room I’m in…)

But with only chaos there is not (yet) life. Although it’s full of potential it needs a transformation to be truly liveable: God needed 7 days to create our known world, Zeus had to overthrow his father (Chaos) and the sun used her gravitating powers to make the planets out of gas and dust.
 

Drama, epicness and stories

I’ve always been drawn to dramatic storytelling: historic romans, epic films, majestic paintings from Jacques L. David or the sweeping landscapes from Turner. And all the while listening to bombastic film soundtracks. 

 Ah, I so love this painting from Jacques Louis David! Epic and drama. (And as I realise now very tranquil as well.)

Ah, I so love this painting from Jacques Louis David! Epic and drama. (And as I realise now very tranquil as well.)

As a teenager I put these heroic stories on paper: Artemis, Alexander the Great (been in love with him for a while because of the books of Valerio M. Manfredi), Apollo, Ares (loved him because of Illios from Imme Dros) or just noble knights, cowboys and other epicness. All of them with wind swept hair, dramatic poses, noble steeds and of course the red capes! (The focus on male heroes had probably to do something with hormones and stuff I guess?)

 Project 'Penthesileia' at art school. Notice the heroic red cape!

Project 'Penthesileia' at art school. Notice the heroic red cape!

At art school I wasn’t allowed to just paint or draw my knights in shining armour: “That’s not art. Why not paint a knight with a smartphone?” “What?! No!” 

I had to experiment to find out what it truly is I am seeking. I dressed up as Penthesileia (an amazone, daughter of Ares), I painted my favorite roman statue, I used my old rocking horse and sculpted an amazone on it and so on.

In my fourth year I hit home: Nature! Not just any nature, no, the nature where my noble knights had been. The nature surrounding the epic stories I love so much.

 My final exam works: huge landscapes. From left to right: Culloden, Muiderslot and Towton.

My final exam works: huge landscapes. From left to right: Culloden, Muiderslot and Towton.

A Quest for Stillness

It was after art school that I started to question my love-affair with history tales. Why am I attracted to them? 

I realised they had to do with the chaos. When immersed in a dramatic historical tale (whether it is in a book, a film or with re-enactment) there is only one thing: the tale. The noise is gone, I’m immersed, time stops. It’s my muse. Drama is my Zeus, my God, my sun. It’s drama that opens up the gateway to something truly liveable. 

In the end it’s not the drama I’m seeking, it’s the stillness that follows.

Source of inspiration

My sources of inspiration depend on the episode my life is in:

As a teenager it were the films, the books that made the biggest impact. Alexander, Gladiator, Troy, Narnia…. The books of Manfredi, Thea Beckman, Simone van der Vlught, Jean M. Auel...

 During an event at the castle of Loevestein.

During an event at the castle of Loevestein.

During art school I was highly active as a re-enactor. With my group we staged dramatic shows with heroic knights and damsels in distress. 
No wonder during that time history was my main focus.

In 2016/2017 I lived very close to a herd of 18 horses. Already realising I was actually looking for stillness, I was touched by the powerful tranquility they embody. Resulting in a project around this beautiful creature.

Now I’m travelling with a main focus for nature: majestic mountains, sweeping skies, endless forests… The drama is surrounding me with a huge impact: My muse is all around me.

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Behind the canvas

@lydia.jansen