By Lieneke Hulshof

The woman’s hair in the painting Hydra is draped around her face, and her arms are weighing her shoulders down. The branches in the background are dead, while she stares into infinity. She is looking straight ahead, thus preventing onlookers from ever catching her gaze. In this painting Iris van Dongen shows the contrast between the timelessness of spirit and the perishability of what is worldly. She captures what we cannot see with our naked eye: the shadow of spirit. Dark, mysterious and enshrouded in a folkloristic kimono.