On 17 July 2014 flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines, on it’s way from Schiphol Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down above Eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board were killed. A lot of people from The Netherlands were amongst the victims since the plane departed from Schiphol Airport - 193 to be precise - but also 43 people from Malaysia (including the plane crew), 27 people form Australia, 12 Indonesians, 10 people from The United Kingdom, 4 Belgians, 4 Germans, 3 people from The Philippines, 1 Canadian and 1 from New Zealand.

In this piece I wanted to express my disgust about this horrible event that, so I believe, will be a turning point in Eastern-Western relationship. Not for the better I’m afraid. The image of improvised marks (branches with a white cloth or plastic bag) in a huge cornfield is still in my mind. It symbolizes the otiosity of this attack. I painted the desolate area of the cornfield in war colours. The event is the result of a war already going on, but hopefully not starting another one. The bodies of loved ones were all over the place and because of the war zone it was almost impossible to collect them properly. Terrible. 298 lives that will not be forgotten. I mentioned them all in this painting. With initials, passenger or crew number and country code (see close ups). Ever since the terrible event this painting was in my head. Now it’s on canvas.

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