Charmaine de Heij: connecting people with art

It's impressive how a single story can inspire such diversity through different mediums! Visual artists from around the world are taking part in WHISTLE project, in an attempt to present a multi-sensory experience never attempted before in the Greek visual art scene. And that's because we do not think of visual art as an experience that when viewed fades away, but as an excuse, a triggering event, a reason to produce an artistic conversation and a literal dialogue with everyone interested. This is the way we feel visual art should work.

In this short article we meet photographer, Charmaine de Heij, from the Netherlands.

How did find out about Whistle project and why did you decide to participate?
I found the open call online, and got really excited about the whole idea behind the project. I also find the theme really interesting!

What intrigued you?
The collective storytelling. I think as an artist it’s interesting to see what other artist did with the same subject. I’m really curious about the different outcomes. There’s also a lot of different backgrounds, I think it’s good that they meet in art. I see it as a positive outcome from the digital world we are living in; there’s a possibility to gather the artists online and let them create art.

What was your workflow?
I got an idea for a series immediately and start to collecting the props. That did take a while, Berlin is a big city and sometimes it’s hard to find the right props. I was really specific in my mind with the kind of fabric that I wanted. Luckily I found it. After that I made some test shots before making the final images. For me that’s a way of deeper sketching. I let it rest for a couple of days and after that I shoot the final ones. I do that so I have time to think clearly about what has to be in the final images. 

What was your artistic style, any influences?
I stayed to my own visual language, only I entered with this project a darker level in my imagination. For this project I did not have any influences.

Do you believe in superstitions?
Yes, I do believe in superstitions. I think a lot of things in this world is unknown and humankind can’t possible know everything.

What do you want people to see in your works?
I hope with this work I can give them a look in the world I created. I also hope the viewer lets their own fantasy run wild when they look at it!

Can you make a comment on the idea of collective storytelling?
Connecting various forms of art from various countries to all tell a story for me, is giving something to society in a different way art usually does. It gives a deeper perception.

Why should people support this project?
First of all I always think art should always be supported. But especially with this one it is the multicultural aspect of the whole project. With supporting this project, a lot of voices from corners all over the world can be heard/seen. Projects where people all from over the world are connected should get more support! Maybe that also influences other people to start a project where people connect through art.

Why go to the exhibition?
To broaden your horizon and to see the different outcomes of all the artworks.

Tell us a few words about the work you submitted to Whistle. How it is related to the story?
I got inspired by the central theme of the story. In my mind I created the spirit and what it would do. It’s a dark story coming out of my head, visualized in an allure way. 

What is visual art for you?
Photography for me is to observe, explore, capture , relieve and to be. 

Why did you become a visual artist?
Because there is for me nothing else I can do 24/7. For me photography is something I wake up with, and it goes with me to sleep. It’s for me the best way to express myself.

The art samples presented in each interview, belong to each artist's personal pre-existing portfolio and not represent submitted work, to WHISTLE project. The later, will be presented to the public during the official exhibition.

Charmaine de Heij explores the boundaries between her dreams and reality, through photography. It’s a surrealistic visual diary. She is influenced by the things she is questioning, the incomprehension of the world we live in today and occurrences close to her. The subjects of her work are not always "light" or "easy", but she portrays them in a colorful way. The world can already be a dark place, there’s no need to overcast it with more shadow.  Currently she lives and works in Berlin, but her origins come from the Netherlands.

Find Charmaine de Heij on INSTAGRAM, WEBPAGE