‘'I have never done it before, so I think I can'
Pippi Langkous, Astrid Lindgren
Grandiose and compelling on a square inch
In her BirdHut in Vogelswerf Saskia van Herwaarden has created her own universe. Visitors and inhabitants are sure to enjoy their stay. Her drawings and installations enchant and inspire. With a light touch, no frills, a wink of the eye and no empty promises of a greener future. Because Saskia uses what others chuck out: stuff from her parental home, street-treasures and garden finds, from (old) paper to natural pigments, all is welcome in her new dreamworld. The result is environmentally friendly and of a poetic beauty. Forever curious about the small world surrounding her, Saskia intuitively researches the essence of living and sometimes dead beings. These days paper and ink are among her favourite working materials. Mucking about with large brushes and fine artists' brushes, using natural inks and pigments. Brush is dipped into ink and touches paper, an image appears. Animals come to life in a brushstroke, hare bird dog toad snail, sometimes ink becomes tree, of human form......Sometimes everything all at once: metamorphoses, transformations, because that is what being born and dying is. She has once heard someone say art can offer solace, she feels that is a beautiful idea.
huge thanks to Ingrid Geesink
Who are you?
My name is Saskia van Herwaarden, maiden name Van Dijk; I was born in 1963 in Maastricht from a Danish mother and a Dutch father. During my early childhood, from 1966 till 1971, we lived in England, hence my love for the English language and the United Kingdom. Every long Summer holiday of my entire youth we spent in Denmark together with our Danish family. I therefore regard Denmark as my second home. After having lived in Maastricht, Paris, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, I moved to the countryside over 25 years ago. These days I share a home with my husband and our two black labradors, in the community of West-Betuwe.
Where do you work and what do you make?
I am mainly busy in my garden studio 'The BirdHut'. I experiment with all kinds of materials in there. In 2011 I 'discovered' cloth and started working with (recycled) cloth and I experimented loads with natural dyes. I have returned to my first love: painting on the flat surface, mainly ink-wash on all kinds of paper and making collages. A large project that has been ongoing is the doll's house I made in my studio. This is called 'The Dwelling’© and the stories about it have been published in my blog.
How come your weblog is in English?
I have kept a blog since 2011 called ‘‘Tales from the BirdHut’. The main language is English as the first online group I participated in has members spread out all across the globe and our shared lingua franca is English.
Any future plans?
Commit myself wholly to art-production. February 2022 I decided to stop all other work-activities and focus completely on my artwork.
I would love to publish a book with stories from The Dwelling , oh yes, and a birthday-calendar, cards and hold beautiful exhibitions......gosh enough to dream about and look forward to.
‘Art might simply be the awareness of how we might create self. That we do. What happens, and then, what we do about it. The story. And the expression of that.’ Jude Hill
‘ The residual purpose of art is purposeless play.’ John Cage
‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’ Anon.
‘The reason we are here is not to suffer or work, but to have a really really really really good time.’ Laurie Anderson
more info on my CV