A memory //

Wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
– Franz Kafka

With eyes shut, still I know he is there when he is. Vibrations shutter beneath my bones. We are all wading through the thick and heavy heave, but he is nimble quick and curiously expected; like a sparrow who appears just before tea plates are cleared.

The inevitable outpour is overflowing and I cannot control my breath. My cup is an endless ocean and I am struggling to catch any air as the swell continues to spill. He is so close. My eyes remain shut.

‘Is this okay?’

Perhaps he didn’t say anything at all, but I find myself nodding, desperately yielding, because more than okay his touch is what I need to breathe. I have come here and willingly unstitched my skin, my vessel torn open. I have completely come undone.

What am I to do with all this?

Still I spill. With gentle ease, his hand now planted delicately on my heaving chest, he fills me back up.

The weighted invisible cloak is slowly lifted from my aching, tiny frame. Cool oxygen fills my lungs. My dampened face rises toward the ceiling, guided by hands that can’t be seen. Lighter, I exhale. Relief and deep gratitude swirls and circulates deep within my core. I feel the warm light from his touch sink deeply through my bones and then flood inside my chest like rapid velocious lava. It is euphoric. His tender softness is one unfathomable. A transfusion of light.

A grin is growing; it’s force is so strong I couldn’t conceal it even if I wanted. When it is grown in full it remains, sharp and crescent, toothy and wide. I open my eyes to search for his own. I meet them immediately; a soft and patient stare meets my gaze through the flickered dark.

‘Feel better?’

His voice is clear but I didn’t catch his mouth in motion. His shape isn’t wholly tangible in the light, but the force of his being overwhelming. Faintly I can make out the shape of his imperfect face. I nod, my smile wider still.

I do.

He playfully messes my hair like a father would a small child and then he is gone. Swallowed by the darkness. I imagine him scampering away, hyperbolic and almost comical.  Or did I see that through the haze?

I continue to drift upward. Overwhelming elation. Almost like a second birth, untainted, I am imperfect fragility, pure. Reborn. I think of what I have in this moment, simplistic and strong. Temporarily filled but knowing completely.

The answer is always love.

Painted Photographs Large scale


These original hand painted photographs on thick pulp recycled paper are for SALE.

There is slight damage in some corners as they have been exhibited and handled for my show ‘Yūgen’ late last year.

The works are approx. 200cm x 80cm and others sold like them look pretty snazzy framed as a bold centre piece.

‘Siren’ 2015

‘Pride, Fear & Euphoria’ 2015

‘Portals & Insight’ 2015

Please contact me at : hello@heidivalkenburg.com if you are at all interested, or would like to arrange a viewing at my studio.

~ x.

Artist Statement

Yūgen is a Japanese word pertaining to a profound awareness of the universe which evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and too mysterious to articulate simply.

I am a sensitive creature; constantly musing, grappling and pondering in an attempt to understand the vastness of the universe and all it beholds. There is acceptance as well sadness in knowing this about myself. These selected works are explorative in that they are an extension of my internal journey and quest to find out more.

View them not as polished works, but as torn pages from a scrapbook of my mind. An inconceivable realm has been at an arms length since childhood; I feel I know too much and nothing all at once.




Do not hide from the chaos within; feed it’s maddening whirl with scattered ideas and last nights nightmare.
Allow yourself to be pulled by nonsensical desires and the magic of musings. Follow the handprints you left as a child and don’t let your heart be bruised by those who simply don’t understand this all great, consuming mind mess.

Be free.

Dark moon

When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness.
 – Virginia Woolf

A reminder ~ *

“Remember that there is meaning beyond absurdity. Know that every deed counts, that every word is power…Above all, remember that you must build your life as if it were a work of art.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

International women’s day

I am sensitive, and passionate, and so often get caught up in my frustrations regarding inequality, mistreatment and generally how far we have to go in the fight for gender equality around the world. This ‪#‎IWD‬ I’m choosing to focus solely on the positive; the wild and wonderful creature that is W O M A N. We won’t stop striving, nor will we forget to celebrate our worth and rooted power. Never forget your strength wonderful creatures. Never stop fighting the good fight.

‘Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.’

– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves.