Esther van der Heijden

I am a multi-media artist, visual researcher and educator.  

My practice entails filmmaking, artistic research, costume design, ceramic experimentation, and writing.
In my work I aim to combine my investigative and critical attitude with playfulness and experimentation.

I am fascinated by oceanic ecosystems, oceanic evolution and storytelling in relation to the oceanic/aquatic. I am interested in the role of critical oceanic fiction, weird fiction and folktales which aim to unpack and research current climatic and political crises at sea. 

esther-heyden@hotmail.com
Instagram
Esther van der Heijden


I am a multi-media artist, visual researcher, filmmaker and educator.  

My practice entails artistic research, costume design, ceramic experimentation, and writing. In my work I aim to combine my investigative and critical attitude with playfulness and experimentation.

Email
Instagram

Along the Troubled Current, 2021


Graduation MA Non-Linear Narrative
Royal Academy of Art The Hague  
- 1 channel, 4k, 15.34 minutes
- experimental film including theater and performance, ceramics and costume design.


This short experimental film communicates a tale about a pteropod, a planktonic snail: The Great Drifter, The Shape Shifter. Pteropods are sensitive indicators of ocean acidification and high CO2 levels; their shell thickness gives us information about their resilience in the past and future. Pteropods play important roles in carbon fluxes in the open ocean, calcifying up to 89 precent of its waters. An embodied study of the rapid and forced evolution of pteropods symbolizes what it takes to evolve, and questions how we relate to those having to adapt.

This bio-political tale invites the viewer into a close study of an oceanic creature to think through how climatic change is being lived. Through different characters, the narrator weaves together a broader context of oceanic injustices. How do vulnerability and elasticity come together when a hostile environment forces one change?