In Suriname I am most well known for the sculptures I create from natural materials especially pieces of driftwood (Art Trouvé). Suriname with its colonial history including slavery and the subsequent immigration of laborers from all over the world is a wonderfully diverse country with many cultures, colors and flavors. I personally also have ancestors from many different cultures. This is an element I incorporate in my ‘Art Trouvé’. These washed ashore pieces of driftwood with their unique structure and whimsical shapes to me represent the identity of not only he Surinamese people, but basically also the Caribbean identity. Just like the driftwood, the many different people now living in the Caribbean, once uprooted from different places all over the world, came ashore in a new land where they have built a new identity, a new colorful community that is highly diverse and unique. In the colorful designs I paint on the driftwood I incorporate signs and symbols from all the different cultures represented in Suriname. The shapes of the wood created by nature and the elements, challenges me into discovering some hidden or subtle object within or to create an interesting abstract object, which I then further enhance by the abstract designs I paint upon them. Each is unique, colorful, exuberant and expressive, my own artistic representation of the Surinamese and the Caribbean identity.
I also work with other materials from nature. With my work I want to inspire people to look at all the materials this country has to offer instead of buying expensive materials from abroad. Surinamese nature has provided me with not only driftwood, but also other wood and stone for sculptures, clay for ceramics, pits, seeds and other organic materials for other creations. I also like to make public art installations with materials from the areas surroundings. The theme is then usually also based upon the place, or on the history of the place. My latest, and largest public art installation was done during my artist in residence period at the Tembe Art Studio in Moengo, in 2014. On the highest hill in Moengo, the Adjoema hill, I built a Bagua. The Bagua (Chinese for eight areas) are eight trigrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. I included elements from other Surinamese cultures and incorporated the surroundings by placing large boulders from the local bauxite mining landscape on each of the stripes of the Bagua and one at the center representing mother earth and the yin/yang traditionally placed in the center of the Bagua.
With my art I hope to create awareness within the community that with a little bit of creativity and inventiveness a lot can be achieved. If more people would take the time to actually look at and truly observe their surroundings, they too would discover the wealth of materials that nature has to offer.
Employed by het Directoraat Cultuur – Coördinator State collection
- Autodidact in sculpting of wood since 1995
- Project: art for the elderly - Surifesta activity
- Project: poster design for the handicapped – Surifesta activity
- Project: Federation of Visual Artists in Suriname in Coronie in 2004
- 2009 Artist in Residence at Vermont Studio Center, USA
- 2009 Artist in Residence at Duende, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2015 Opening exhibition new location Readytex Art Gallery, Paramaribo, Suriname
2014 WAT-Working Apart Together, De Hal, Paramaribo, Suriname
2014 Circus Terminal, International traveling exhibition, De Hal, Suriname
2013 Cultural Currents, Miami meets Paramaribo, De Hal, Paramaribo, Suriname
2013 Expo 20 years Readytex Art Gallery, De Hal, Paramaribo, Suriname
2012 National Art Fair, Paramaribo, Suriname
2012 Heritage Festival, Ft.Nw. Amsterdam, Commewijne, Suriname
2012 Revealing our stored treasures, RAG in De Hal, Paramaribo, Suriname
2011 National Art Fair, Paramaribo, Suriname
2011 l' Encadrier Galerie, Cayenne, French Guyana
2011 About Change Art Program, World Bank, Washington DC, USA
2011 De verleiding van Coronie, The Hague, the Netherlands
2010 Vredig, Vrij en Vriendelijk, De Hal, Paramaribo, Suriname
2010 Biennale du Marronage, Matoury, French Guyana