In my work the relationship between painting and poetry is central: "Images to be read and text to be seen".

My travels around the African and Asian continents serve as the starting points for this central theme. During these trips I visited places where the transition from painted or drawn image to writing is still visible. My physical travels were also travels through time. These ultimately led me to the rock paintings and drawings of 10,000 BC which can still be found in bright daylight in the heart of Sahara (Tassili N'Adjer, Algeria / Libya).

Initially I used an abstract expressionist manner to give form to this theme, using the fundamental principles of painting. From 1996 onwards there was a turn in my approach to painting; moving from an abstract lyrical approach to a more conceptual lyrical approach.

By making conscious use of contradictions in my work, I realize a tense poetic reality based on fundamental painterly principles, connecting the concept to the impulsive act, the abstraction of the abstraction, the consciously chosen character - as a reminder of the past - drowning the paint and the matter in the void.

The guiding motive, which runs as a thread through my entire oeuvre, is the vulnerability of all things. I begin thus with my social involvement and my philosophical vision. Both elements form the basis for my work.

About the project "Levinasfaces"

The project "Levinasfaces" was launched in 2010.

In this project, the viewer meets the spectator and vice versa. In Levinasfaces, the spectator is confronted with his own moral awareness through the painted face of the other. At a time when it appears that our sense of responsibility for others is breaking down and imploding, the project "Levinasfaces" offers an intense kid of relief through the face of the other.

It is here, in the face of the other that we meet ourselves. The project "Levinasfaces" is therefore inspired directly by the work of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. In his work, Levinas states that the face of the other makes a direct and immediately inescapable appeal to the moral realization of the one who sees the other. He says: "Authentic humanism is materialist humanism. The heart opens very easily to the worker, the wallet is harder, and the door of our house is most difficult." These words are characteristic of Emmanuel Levinas's thinking. For Levinas morality is a matter of what you have and how you make room for the other in your life. (source: Levinas, Joachim Duyndam & Marcel Poorthuis, Lemniscaat 2003).

Over the years, the project "Levinasfaces" has been broken down into 6 projects:

  • Innocent faces
  • Facestobeseen
  • Family faces
  • Clayfaces
  • Famous artist faces
  • Faces of the beginning

Along the line of these sub-projects, the project as a whole continues to develop towards the future. This development remains, also for the artist, somewhat of a mystery and a surprise.

Painting this project is a meeting between figuration and abstraction, one and the other. In my work, both are looking for each other. Sometimes the abstraction has the upper hand and sometimes the figure. You could say that the figuration is captured by an abstract painting, which has its roots in fundamental painting.

About the project "Runaway pictures"

Anne Roorda places the vulnerable individual at the center of his current work. In recent years, he has worked on the Levinasfaces project, in which the face of the other forms the key motif of this project, the viewer meets the viewed, encoutering faces that ask: "Do you know me, have you seen me?" In the series, the spectator is confronted by the painted face with his own moral awareness.
In the face of the other we meet ourselfes. The project Levinasfaces is therefore inspired by the work of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906 - 1995). In his work, Levinas states that the face of the other makes an immediate and inevitable appeal to the moral awareness of the one who sees the other. For Levinas morality is a matter of giving what you have, making room for the other in your own life.

In 2016, Roorda started the Runaway pictures project. In this series, he shows us an image of the human being, familiar to us through its representation through newspapers, magazines, television, social media. With this project, Roorda shifts this attention to a painters persepective. While the figures in Levinasfaces have a pronounced face, in Runaway pictures, the face of the other is absent. Groups of anonymous people passing by in front of our eyes. The refugee has no face an become more like an icon of the vulnerable individual. You could say a person who, through their anonymity, is deemed less important. They are gradually seen less and less until they are no longer seen; a person who comes, goes and dissapears.

In 2017 Anne Roorda began the sequel to 'Runaway picture' with the image series 'Arrival pictures'. Where on hand we see a person fleeing; on the reverse of this path is the person arriving. Where fleeing is often met with signs of drama; arrival is usually marked by joy. In this new series, Anne Roorda emphasizes the latter and shows how every drama has two sides.

Anne Roorda