How my mum got me to stop breaking Oma’s cigarettes…

en nu diep inademen 200dpi

I’ve been working on a graphic novel telling my mum’s story. At the moment I am letting memories flow and eventually I will put them together. I realised this story is not just about my mum’s illness and her choice to end her life by means of Euthanasia. It is also about my relationship with her. Her illness is closely linked with my history with depression. It is a story of pure love and emotional chaos.

But it is not all serious! My mum was a wonderful, warm-hearted and passionate woman…with her own special way of dealing with toddler problems; I used to break my grandmother’s cigarettes, which were always in a glass jar on her table. To be fair, it must feel incredibly satisfying to break a cigarette, I can just imagine it now…and I always like to think that in my innocence I was trying to tell my Oma that this was an unhealthy habit and she should just stop it 😉

One day my mum told me to put one of the cigarettes in my mouth and she lit it, instructing me to inhale deeply. “En nu heel diep inademen.”

She’d told me that for a moment she feared she’d actually killed me but luckily I managed to breathe again…eventually!

I’ve never touched a cigarette since. I never even smoked, though there were other factors that played a part in my teenage years why I didn’t choose to smoke. Still, being nearly choked to death by cigarette smoke undoubtedly played a big part!

The joys of 1970’s parenting! 😉


Emotional Flow


I’m currently working on a Flow series based on strong emotions.

Flow is a girl who came to visit us humans on Earth, and experiences human life in all its riches and intensities, with curiosity.

She experiences emotions like a toddler; you feel it, express it and let it go.

No hanging on to the past, no lingering in the stories…just letting it go…

Sounds so easy…


Work in Progress – London Living Beings – part I-

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There is beauty in so many places in London, even in the places you least expect. I love how animals have adjusted so much to the urban life. The unexpected visit of a squirrel on the rooftop trying to bury a mars-bar or a cheeky pigeon who hops on the tube and wriggles about can change a boring moment into a very entertaining one!

These are still works in progress, but am enjoying playing with the lay-outs and colours. …to be continued!

15115 exhibition

connected vs dark thoughts

15115 installation III- Elsbeth van der Poel

15115 installation III - detail- Elsbeth van der Poel    15115 installation III - detail- connected - Elsbeth van der Poel

15115 installation III - detail- dark forest2 - Elsbeth van der Poel   15115 installation III - detail- dark forest - Elsbeth van der Poel   15115 installation III - detail- dark forest3 - Elsbeth van der Poel

bear, wolf, spiders and the flower of life

15115 installation II - detail- flower of life - Elsbeth van der Poel

15115 installation II - detail - bear and spiders - Elsbeth van der Poel

oma and monsters in the fireplace

15115 installation I - Elsbeth van der Poel

15115 installation I detail - oma - Elsbeth van der Poel  15115 installation I detail - monsters in the fireplace - Elsbeth van der Poel15115 installation I detail - monsters - Elsbeth van der Poel

15115 - monsters in the fireplace- Elsbeth van der Poel

ocean life or my view from inside the whale

15115 installation IV - whale and sealife - Elsbeth van der Poel   15115 installation IV - whale and sealife detail - Elsbeth van der Poel

cardboard animation

15115 installation III - cardboard animation - Elsbeth van der Poel