The Heroine’s Journey of Britt Roelse

What is the thing you love most about your work? The freedom to feel and to transform this feeling into art. To give back the dimension people forgot in life. This brings immense connection. To achieve this layering asks a lot from me, but I couldn’t live my life in any other way.

What is your idea of happiness? Happiness is a substance in our brains that takes us to a higher level of being. I see it as a way of manifesting. To me, it doesn’t consist out of material. I’ve learned that happiness is an all-inclusive state of being that doesn’t come on command. However, it’s a process you can influence by accepting what is and to start from there. Happiness lies in the small things that make life grand.

Photo credits: Bas Gijselhart

What is your greatest fear? I have seen the positivity and beauty of life from a young age. Through the years I learned that fear only blocks energy and can completely numb you. Fear, really, is a limit to your dreams. It controls your emotions and your state of being. As a person, I always see the possibilities, never the limitations. Even during my near death experience I didn’t feel any fear. I just let it happen. Some things in life we just cannot control. Being so unbound brings us to the deepest level of our being.

What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself? I used to ignore my subconsciousness in earlier years, out of fear and because I didn’t know any better. Being able to rely on your inner compass is one of the most beautiful things there is and the deepest connection you can experience with yourself. The subconscious is there for a reason: we as humans have just forgotten how important this subconsciousness actually is.

Which living person in my profession do you admire most? Amie Dicke.

What is your greatest extravagance? My fantasy.

On what occasion would you lie? Life is beautiful when you can embrace the ugly things as well. I see things in their purest form. Therefore lying is not in my nature. Not saying something is also a form of communication. By talking you let go of what’s inside of you and remain pure to yourself. As I am quite a talker there’s no way to escape. Honesty is a form of acknowledging being, which is also the foundation of my art.

What is the thing that you dislike the most in your work? Control from outside. When I am asked to provide (commissioned) work I also receive the trust. When clients see my work and also want to buy it then they have to let me free so I can manifest from my true power. When I am asked for control over the process I cannot continue to perform from the most free form of me.

When and where were you the happiest, professionally seen? In 2019 I made a choice to focus on art only and I continued to do so in 2020. All my work is manifested from the soul, for which freedom is absolutely fundamental. I feel this freedom for years and this gives me the opportunity to be myself entirely. 

If you could, what would you change about yourself? The fact that most people find me ‘too strong’ and tend to move back from me. I like to go deep in conversations, I don’t like superficial talks. Those conversations lead to nowhere and I can check the weather forecast myself. It makes it rare to find true connection. It would be easier for me if I had a bit more of that superficiality.

Photo Credits: Britt Roelse

What is your greatest achievement in work? I’m always capable of turning life’s struggles into something positive, like a new photo series. All my life lessons are intertwined in my work and I am proud that I’m able to show my vulnerability.

Where would you like to live most? In an old house with a soul: a house with history where old elements are honored. Preferably surrounded by nature and space but close to the city, so you wake up to the sound of mooing cows, birds and the wind going through the trees. When we appreciate what we have we can live in more harmony with everything that surrounds us.

 What is your most treasured possession? There are some objects I’m attached to like jewelry from my ancestors, family photo albums and a workbench that belonged to my deceased father, which I transformed into a dinner table and stands in my living room today.

What is your most marked characteristic? My smile and my laugh. 

What is the most inspiring location to you in your city? What inspires me most in the city of Eindhoven are the old properties formerly belonging to the Philips family: Villa ‘De Laak’, ‘De Wielewaal’ estate and Philips de Jongh park, but also buildings like Mariënhage and the Coll water mill

What is your favorite place to eat and drink in your city? Echt Welschap: the former airport of Eindhoven where you can have lunch. It’s amazing how an old building can take on a new role and how the owners show passion for history.

Restaurent Iris: this restaurant can be found in the middle of the Iris neighborhood of the ciry. Very cosy.

Brasserie Bellevue: fantastic French cuisine.

VANE Sky bar: tremendous overlook over the city centre and lovely cocktails.

Fifth NRE: wonderful dinners with live classical music at a historic industrial venue.

What books influenced your life and how? Eckhart Tolle. My interest for spirituality started in 2002. I read his book in 2006, which brought me a deeper level of looking at life.. René Kahn: De appel en de boom. I read this book in 2011 while graduating. I was researching my ancestry and the way we take patterns from our ancestors with us on a subconscious level, the way these effect our lives and how we can break these patterns.

Photo credits: Britt Roelse

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on your last day?

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly

Crowded House – Weather with You

Sister Sledge – We Are Family

Earth, Wind & Fire – September

Katrina & The Waves – Walking on sunshine

The Pretenders – Don’t Get me Wrong

The Pointer Sisters – I’m so exited

Tori Ames – Professional Window

Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, the Secret

SNAP! – Welcome to Tomorrow

Hootie & The Blowfish – Only Wanna Be With You

Who are your heroes and heroines in real life? Lady Diana. She was strong, stubborn, broke patterns and united worlds that were far apart. Therefore, she was refreshing to the world. To me, she was exemplary in staying true to yourself and not letting yourself get carried away by the ruling standards of society.

Which movie would you recommend to see once in a lifetime? The movie about the history of my grandfather Dingeman Roelse. He was one of the greatest butter smugglers of Brabant province in the sixties. He had a turbulent life. It’s a big aim of mine to make this film reality during my career.

What role do stories play in your life and work? In my work, I like to interpret stories without images into new images. In that way they can be relived and felt, and therefore be put in context. Stories about where I’m from also have an impact on me and my life. This makes me understand the context of my own parts, understand them and therefore have an impact on it.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to you? Everything you do, how you move through life and treat situations, tells how much you value everything around you. 

Who is your greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My father has always been my biggest fan. Even though he struggled with the though of me choosing an artist’s life, he motivated me to do what makes me happy in life. His interest in my life, him acknowledging my passion and perseverance fueled me. Unfortunately, he passed away at a young age.

What project in 2022 are you looking forward to, to work on? The exposition ‘Embracing Existence’ during the Dutch Design Week.

Where can we see you or your work in 2022 During the Dutch Design Week my studio at Sectie-C in Eindhoven will be open every day. See you there

What do the words ‘passion never retires’ mean to you? That something that lives inside of you will always be there. Insatiability.

How can we contact you? http://www.brittroelse.com

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