INTRO is an ode to the introvert. We live with a society with a preference for extraverted traits, such as assertiveness, outgoing behavior and strong social skills. Extraverts are often seen as confident, charismatic, and engaging, which can be advantageous in various social and professional settings. Individuals who tend to focus inwardly and who are more quiet are often seen as shy and boring. I believe that introverts also have many qualities and strengths. For example, being able to listen well, observe, reflect deeply and be independent. As an introvert, I’ve always heard that I should be more extraverted. I constantly felt the need to change this about myself. The ideal balance lies in appreciating and valuing the diverse range of personalities and strengths that individuals bring, regardless of their introverted or extraverted tendencies. With INTRO I want to show appreciation for introverts and show the viewer that being an introvert is perfectly fine.
The images and presentation format of this project are inspired by the brain of an introvert. This is because it functions differently than that of an extrovert. In an introvert’s brain, more blood flows via a longer and more complicated route. The blood flows particularly along the parts of the brain that deal with thinking and the inner world of experience. As a result, introverts are more inward-looking and sometimes take longer to respond to something. With extroverts, on the other hand, the route is short and simple. The blood flows along the parts of the brain that deal with external stimuli. Besides the fact that the brain works differently, introverts and extroverts process stimuli differently. Extraverts have a high stimulus threshold and thus actually seek out extra stimuli to meet their daily needs. Introverts have a low stimulus threshold and generally prefer to avoid extra stimuli so as not to become overstimulated. The way our brain works isn’t something we can change, so we shouldn't feel like we have to try to do that either.
The images on my sculptures are black and white and minimalist, with as little unnecessary stimulation as possible. On the images are small characters, wondering around in imaginary landscapes. These images represent reflection and the inner world of experience. It is a search for tranquility in a very loud world. At first glance you might not notice the characters in the sculptures, but they are there. Just like introverts. We might not stand out, but we are there. INTRO consists of photographic sculptures, made of bent aluminum dibond. I want my work to not just be a flat surface on the wall. I want to invite people to come closer and move around the work. You must look from different perspectives to see the whole sculpture and you must make a little effort to see the whole work properly. I deliberately leave a lot of space between the works. In this way, the works stand by themselves in the space, even though they do form a whole. This also creates moments of rest between the works. In my work I also play with height and size. I like to place things just high enough so that the viewer needs to stand on their toes or low enough for them to bow down. It by no means has to be impossible to see my work, but I don't want one quick glance to be enough for the viewer to have seen everything. It must provoke and challenge a little bit.