branched out

At the photo exhibition ’Takkewijf’ I met Elke Dierckx for the first time. She and Maarten had worked together for an extensive time to create an intimate portrait of her. The gallery was filled with artwork of her and other nudes, women so vulnerably strong, it took my breath away.

At the entrance, in a golden frame, was Elke, luscious as a resting goddess, loving her own body. In the middle of the room, in front of a window, a kind of triptych of another nude. A woman, shine through and in pieces, lighting up as a whole. At the back of the room I found my favourite: Elke, again, exhibitionisticly loving and touching the body she is in, now in 12 small cyanotype squares printed on fabric, sewed roughly on canvas and behind glass in a black frame. I loved all the symbolics of this work. It felt like home, like every other piece of art you recognise yourself in, I guess.

I knew about all the battles Elke had won. How strong is this woman, I thought. And then: how strong are we, women. No matter what war is raging on the outside or in, no matter how many times our heart feels broken, we always return to love. We always choose to love again.

Mótha played in the same energy that evening. Waves of fighting, surrendering and getting back up again for the love of life.

I ripped my white satin dress during this performance. Back home, I sewed it back together. with a red thread of fate. To be continued. Of course.

She picks up the pieces
and mends them with grace
into one piece of art.

She’s so free, she’s able to
capture the fragments of her
broken heart.

muse and photographer performance: Elke Dierckx
artwork and photo’s: Maarten Marchau