Three androgynous beings move their hands in a specific order, performing some kind of ritual. There is an undisturbed passive feminine focus in their gaze, harmonised with a muscular active strength. This makes it difficult to analyse them as individuals since they hold the key to themselves – the in fact guard it. Their torsos are grounded by a solid black pillar, creating an almost invisible path that runs between. This invited interaction is a way through the sculptured boxwood and arranged entities, towards the natural world of the mountains illuminated by the unending cycle of the sun.
Heijligers is a contemporary artist who studied at Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam and now lives and works in Amsterdam.
With her interest in psychology, Heijligers’ art explores the feelings of alienation and belongingness and this series takes inspiration from those who live in the margins of society. Her distinctive characters are deliberately unapologetic and difficult to classify within a fixed framework.
Using these characters as a catalyst she poses several questions in her paintings – how does one’s behaviour and habits influence classifications and how can one find shelter in the midst of their own alienation? In an interesting dichotomy her artworks also provide some potential answers. Her paintings elude to the notion that the disorientating nature of alienation has the potential to shift into something more, something grounded. Each of Heijligers’ characters champion the notion of individualism and channel the inert strength that uniqueness can provide.