Wendy van de Heuvel



Artist Wendy van den Heuvel has a thing for self-portraits. “I’ve been making them ever since I was a student at the academy”, says Wendy. And just like the old masters, there’s also a practical reason behind it. “I always have my model close at hand. And I know exactly what I expect of myself as the photographer.”

Nevertheless, a self-portrait...

Wendy explains: “I must note that most of my self-portraits have nothing to do with me. They are more about a feeling or a mood.”


Yes, it’s true, sometimes you want to put your head inside the dishwasher. I’M NOT HERE!

Or did you feel something totally different when you saw this artwork?

Your face doesn’t fit

You don’t often see Wendy’s face in her self-portraits. Her main concern is to get the feeling across to the onlooker. And then you may even feel that it’s you lying there.

And even so, it’s very personal

Wendy created this self-portrait in her own kitchen, which is quite a personal space, don’t you agree? For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. The Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto writes in her novel Kitchen: “No matter where it is, no matter what kind, if it’s a kitchen, if it’s a place where they make food, it’s fine with me.”

What’s your favourite room at home?”


You sometimes get the feeling that art needs to be deadly serious. Not at all, says Wendy: “You’re allowed to laugh. I love a bit of humour and irony.”

Everything was better back then

In the museum, there’s sometimes an artwork on the wall showing how washing up was done back in the day. Probably not the most beautiful piece of art, but nevertheless, one that is most talked about. Time together in the kitchen, one person with their hands in warm, soapy water, the other drying using a tea towel with no Insta or TikTok in sight. One thing is sure: a great conversation is guaranteed.

Did you know that...

you burn 160 calories per hour doing the washing up?


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Neat or messy?

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