Shadow World


On Sunday July 16th 2017, Rosa Verhoeve (photographer) and Sandra van Elewout (visual artist) took their guests on a quest to find the twilight area within ourselves, the point where light and darkness meet.

The evening was part of DOOD, an art program about the imagination and ritualisation of death, and took place during the cultural event Cure Park in the Amsterdamse Bos. DOOD was put together by curator Karel Winterink (

Rosa Verhoeve talking about Shadow World:

We all die. For most of us, our own death is something that belongs to a distant future. For some, death is nearer. I’m one of them: I know I will not become very old. Since September 2016 I have been living with the diagnosis of bowel cancer and simply do not know how much time I still have.

Knowing this, I live a lot more in the present, because “soon” and “later” have become uncertain factors for me. I embrace all that life brings to me, both the very dark and the very light. And I do not see the cancer as my enemy, but as my greatest teacher.

Even though we all know that light and darkness are parts of life, it is often difficult to accept the dark side. Almost automatically we resist everything that we experience as unpleasant. And if the unpleasant concerns our own dark side, our shadow, we’d rather not see it at all. Let alone that we want to dwell on our own impermanence.

As one of the guests of Karel Winterink’s program DOOD, I have wanted to make this shadow world more visible. That’s why I, together with artist Sandra Elewout, have simply called this evening Shadow World. In my presentation I have shown the work of leading photographers on the subject of the shadow of illness, loss and death.

After my presentation the visitors were invited outside to walk a labyrinth, specially created for the evening by Sandra van Elewout. All the visitors were given a particular question, arisen out of my presentation, to think about while walking the labyrinth. Afterwards, there was an intimate group discussion about what people felt and experienced during the walk, about transience and death, but also how to celebrate life.

Website Sandra van Elewout:

Jesse Boon wrote her impression of Shadow World on her blog of Onder Woorden: