Siemen Dijkstra (Den Helder, The Netherlands, 1968)
Born in Den Helder on the Northsea coast. Can’t remember
it, but maybe my love for the sea was also born there. Raised in the Northeast
part of Holland (peat bog and oak forest). I always wanted to become a scientific
illustrator, but during my study at the Minerva Art Acadamy in Groningen I
developed my interest in printmaking and landscape drawings. At the end of the
eighties I made my first series of landscapes in drawing-ink. It was a
hesitating start. Up to then imagination and the story had been the most important ingrediënts of my drawings. It’s
true the interest in the landscape had been potentially present in my work, but
it hadn't assumed a definite shape by then. Surely I felt a strong association
with both the landscapes of Groningen and those of Drenthe, when I cycled
through them at unseasonable times. It took me back into the landscape in which
I had grown up. Somewhat later after my ink-studies, the first colour woodcuts
having the landscape as a subject appeared. These landscape still had a strong
symbolic character and showed a Nordic atmosphere, but it did mean the
beginning of this "oeuvre”. It were also the Scandinavian painters of the Fin
the Siècle, who inspired my vision of the landscape. In a time when French
impressionists where busy with painting what they saw, the nordic painters were
also looking for the spirit of the
place; the Genius Loki. To paint space is one thing, to paint the soul of a
place is quitte something else. I wonder: all these years I am busy to record
all these animated landscapes before they are lost forever.
Elysia Verhoeven (Dussen,The Netherlands, 1953)
Elysia started with ceramic art in 1974 as a student of
Jan Müller in Orvelte. In the studio the pottery-wheel turned round and round
Besides a lot of experimenting was done in stoking- and
glazing-techniques. It proved to be a good training school lasting until 1979.
In Orvelte Elysia learned the trade and a foundation was laid for the ceramic
art she developed in later years.
After 1979 Elysia start travelling and got stuck in India
at the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in Pune. Many westerners went to
this ashram to find answers to vital questions that could not (and still can
not) be answered by the secular western society. Bhagwan stood for liberation,
ecstacy and meditation. The ashram was for the greater part self-supporting and
Elysia worked in the pottery quite some time. Althought she had to work
individually, the emphasis was more on co-operation. This was very inspiring:
in the studio people from all over the world worked together. Working here was
a form of meditation and the leading theme in Elysia’s ceramic work came into
being, namely, the relationship with
people, the inner self and nature.
Afterwards Elysia travelled to other parts of the world,
worked in ceramic-studio’s in the U.S., Canada and France. More experienced and
inspired Elysia lived in Amsterdam and Groningen, where she started her own
home-studio. Her work was sold through small galleries and in art-markets.
Together with other artists Elysia established the set-up of the present art-market at the Spui in Amsterdam, almost 20 years ago.
After her stay in Amsterdam Elysia landed in rural
Drenthe again. Here the ceramic production got well under way. At a given
moment the opportunity presented itself to hire a shed owned by Nature Reserve,
next to the Visitor’s Centre near Ruinen. Now sale and production went on with
properity. During this time I got acquainted with Elysia (1997).
Due to circumstances she had to leave this place after
three years and we moved the studio to the farm in Dwingeloo, where she
finally arrived on the spot where we are living and working now.
In the course of years I got to know Elysia as a
modest woman who manages to put all her expressivenes into her work and not
talk too much about. She determines what she makes herself, free from trends
and schools. In the portfolio you will find the latest works of her hand and it
gives a small impression of the extensive oeuvre from this artist.