I think you know the feeling you had as a kid, looking at the clouds, stars or just the ceiling of your room, thinking about… everything. It is the free space in which we can create relationships between things, thoughts and what occurs. Exactly that space is a condition for me to be able to work. Watching the stars… it has become my job.
I am Erna Kuik, born in the Southern IJsselmeerpolders in 1967; I took my first steps on the former seabed. Lelystad where I grew up was designed on the drawingtable. I still like harepaths that cut right corners of roads. It is a kind of rectification and rewilding by people and animals who do not want to walk along the straight lines of a ruler.
My parents encouraged me to explore the arts and I took piano lessons with Guido Meisner. In the polder- land made from the sea- I imagined the sea as my ceiling. The arts allowed me to dive in and find all those beautiful melodies and images that nourished me. Initially I wanted to become a pianist, but I chose the visual arts and studied from 1987 to 1992 at the Artez Academy of Arts in Kampen.
I chose the Free Graphics course and learned etching, lithography and relief printing. The latter fascinated me the most and I made monumental woodcuts. A line becomes interesting when it is converted into reliefprint; the gouge makes a line whimsical and expressive. It is an instrument to ‘rewild’, it makes my art authentic. I left the academy with a diploma and an incentive prize for young artists, the Gretha and Adri Pieck Prize.
Visual art is a kind of relay race or a parallel universe to me. Ideas, forms and thoughts are passed over and over again and gradually change form. If I recall my dreams while I’m working, I know I’m on the right track.
As you read this, I’m probably cutting my linocuts, inking or spinning the wheel of my press. Let me introduce her to you: her name is Rolls.
I add vibrant colours, shapes and accents to each work to make the art you might soon hang on your wall vibrant.
I make my own paper from old magazines. There is no more beautiful paper with its beautiful ragged edges and added collages. I did a lot of research on paper and developed a unique way of making collages during the wet paper process. A lino print printed on this paper turns each print into an exclusive work of art.
Another handmade paper that I often use is Himalayan paper made from the bark of the Daphne Papyrazea plant. This plant grows at an altitude of 2000 meters in the mountains of Nepal. Because the bark naturally recovers after harvest, it is
material environmentally friendly. The same goes for the mulberry paper from Thailand. This delicate paper, made from the bark of the mulberry tree, has a silky sheen – what’s more: the leaves from this beautiful tree are the only food source for silk-moth caterpillars. All the paper I print is handmade and fair trade.