'Melancholy' is my response to the life and work of the artist Armando. I was inspired by his work, but I was also intrigued by the artistic motive; his experiences from the Second World War around Kamp Amersfoort. How had he managed to transform them into his work? To a certain extent I felt a connection with his history. I had discovered that my family's past history in a camp had affected my own perception on life and I was ready to explore this photographically.

With images and texts from the work of Armando in the back of my mind, I became gripped by the forest and the shrubs. I tried to find a way to give this meaning, as Armando had done, without being too literal, seeking a subjective, personal style. Along the way I began to see the forest as I had never seen it before. I started to associate it with loss, with conflict, with death.

During this process, Armando's influence decreased. My family history played a greater role and that is the basis from which this work has developed. Suddenly a diary of my grandmother's appeared which she had kept while she was in a war camp in Indonesia. Along with this there was also an exchange of letters from just after this period. The more I delved into her history, the more connected to her I felt. She was also a young mother, yet surviving under extreme circumstances.

I was looking for a way to show this connection; how I could I show the mental state of people that exist on the edge of life and death. In this work, nature itself has become a metaphor for life and death; at times comforting, alarming and overwhelming. The images developed more or less intuitively, but it slowly became clear what I was searching for in the forest. It was the representation of hope, despair, fear of death and of consolation - alternating emotions in those experiencing extreme situations.

What I saw in the work of Armando and what I then percieved in the infinity of nature, I used to connect with the past.