Spijkstra, Ellen

Spijkstra, Ellen


“As an artist I am not interested in telling a story, nor in giving a complete overview. I aim at making people aware of the beautiful images around them.
I am fascinated by matter, the contrast between the skin of different surfaces and the process of erosion or deterioration. I use it in constructing rhythmic compositions and forms. My work is about harmony, balance and tranquility. My photographs show that I am a ceramist at heart” (from the artist statement of Ellen Spijkstra).

Ceramist and photographer Ellen Spijkstra (Netherlands, 1957) attended the Minerva Academy school for Fine Arts and Design in Groningen, the Netherlands. After moving to Curaçao in 1980 she started a ceramics studio, Studio Girouette.
From July 1985 till July 1986 Ellen attended the Rochester Institute of Technology as an ‘independent student’. At this institute she did several master courses like glass blowing, clay and glaze studies en kiln building.
In 1991 she finished a photography course at the New York Institute of Photography but before that she was already showing her photographs, and receiving prizes for them.

Ellen has been exhibiting solo as well as in groups and has represented Curaçao at the international art scene on numerous occasions.
At Studio Girouette she regularly invited international ceramic artists and organized workshops for her students.
Ellen’s work is represented in several public collections on Curaçao like: Maduro & Curiëls Bank N.V., Avila Beach Hotel, The Central Bank, The Curaçao Museum, the Maritime Museum and the World Trade Center.

Ellen Spijkstra is represented on Curaçao by Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai.

Wednesday May 22, 2013: Roest & Koraal. Première of a filmed portrait of Ellen Spijkstra, visual artist in Curaçao, by Felix de Rooy and Kirk Claes.



Website of Ellen Spijkstra

San Francisco Chronicle: Curaçao, where art imitates ocean life by Jeff Greenwald.

The first video 'Portrait of Ellen Spijkstra' was made by Meesterkunst in 2007.

The second video Island Reflections was made in 2011 by Kirk Claes and Felix de Rooij, featuring 10 Curaçao visual artists, who where invited to exhibit in Michigan USA. The exhibit was curated by Susan Wilczak.


Solo Exhibits

2013 Oud en Nieuw, Avila Beach Hotel, Curaçao.

2011 Open Atelier Route, Studio Girouette, Curaçao.

2010 Arquitectura de la calle, University of the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao.

2009 Art Studio Insight, Aruba.

2009 Galerie Taptoe, Brussels, Belgium.

2008 Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2008 The French Embassy Gallery, Santo Domingo. Dominican Republic.

2008 Kleurgamma Downtown, Amsterdam. The Netherlands.

2006 Open Atelier Route, Studio Girouette, Curaçao.

2006 Blow-Up Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Group exhibits (selection)

2013 Orange Fringes, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2013 Back to Nature, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2012  A breast or two, Mon Art Gallery, Curaçao.

2012 Contemporary Dutch Photography, Blow-Up Gallery, Nieuwersluis, The Netherlands.

2012  Door het oog van Egberdien (Through the eyes of Egberdien), Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2012  Ellen3, Gallery Alma Blou, Curaçao.

2011  Brionplein Gallery (Royal visit from The Netherlands), Curaçao.

2011  Island Reflections: The  Contemporary Art of Curaçao, DePree Art Center, Holland, Michigan, USA.

2011 Clay Works Away, Cifte Hamam, Skopje, Macedonia.

2011  Maskará, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2010  Antepasado di Futuro, The Curaçaosch Museum, Curaçao.

2010 Primero Trienal Internacional del Caribe, Museo Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

2010 IV International Tile Triannial, Centro León, Santiago, Dominican Republic.

2009  Dependensia, Landhuis Knip, Curaçao.

2009 Arte Bèbè, The Rif Fort, Curaçao.

2007  2nd annual Dutch Caribbean Art Exhibition, Kas di Arte , Bonaire.

2007  275 years Snoa, Maritime Museum, Curaçao.

2007  It’a all about women, Gallery Alma Blou, Curaçao.

2006  ASNA Clay Triennal, Karachi, Pakistan.

2006  First ACP Festival, Museo Arte Moderno, Dominican Republic.

2006  Nos Arkitektura den un Leshi, Galerie Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2006   The Caribbean in the Age of Modernity, National  Library, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

2006  Openings exhibition Galerie Alma Blou, Curaçao.

2006  Arte Bèbè, The Rif Fort , Curaçao.

2005 Nos Regalo Real, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2005 De Koninklijke Hoed; Steengoed, Studio Girouette, Curaçao.

2004 Cocktail di Arte, Heerlickheijd van Ermelo, The Netherlands.

2004  Blow-Up Gallery, Amsterdam,  The Netherlands.

2003  Laman 2003, The Rif Fort, Curaçao.

2003  Vision +, V Caribbean and Centro American Biennial, Galeria Nacional de Bellas

Artes, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

2003  Resusitá, The Rif Fort, Curaçao.

2003 Keramika Sisak 1700, Sisak, Croatia.

2003  Family Ties, Landhuis Bloemhof, Curaçao.

2003 Opmerkelijke Publicaties, Galerie Otrobanda Vieja, Curaçao.                                               

2003  1Bienal Internacional Del Mosaico Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2003  Made in Curaçao, Galerie Bloemhof, Curaçao.                                              

2002  Arte, di nos e ta, Central Bank,  Curated by art historian Dr. J.A. (Adi). Martis, Curaçao.

2002  Elit-Tile 2002, Museo Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

2001  Arte, di nos e ta, TENT- CBK, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

2000  Seventh Biennial of Havana, Centro Wifredo Lam, Cuba.

2000 Sixth Taiwan Golden Ceramics Awards Exhibition,  Taiwan.

2000 Two pictures. One story (Diana Blok & Ellen Spijkstra) Maritime Museum    Curaçao

2000 Mon Petit Art Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2000 Laman Chiki, Waaigat, Curaçao.

1999  Auto Retrato Nobo, Instituto di Cultura, Aruba.

1999  La Vida Urbana en la región del Caribe, Centro Cariforo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1999  Arte ’99, Identidat…ayera awe mañan, Magazina di Arte, Curaçao.

1999 The Curaçao Connection, S.B.K. Kunstcentrum Haarlem, The Netherlands.

1997 5th World Triennial Exhibition of Small Ceramics, Croatia.

1995 Artoteek Den Haag, The Netherlands.

1992 Un Abraso ku Koló, Heemstede, The Netherlands.

1991 Gala di Arte, World Trade Center, Curaçao.

1990  Taller Escuela Arte Fuego, Caracas, Venezuela.

1988  Bida i Koló, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, The Netherlands.

1988  Potpourri, Gallery ’86, Curaçao.

1986  Directions, Däwson Gallery, Rochester, USA.

1986  The Atrium Gallery, Rochester, USA.

1985  Het Curaçaosch Museum, Curaçao.

1983  Galerie ‘t Wemme, Zuidwolde, The Netherlands.

1979  Cultuurcentrum de Oosterpoort, Groningen, The Netherlands.



Publications and Awards

Selection of Publications :

-Documentary: portrait of Ellen Spijkstra Roest & Koraal (Rust & Coral), length: 30 minutes. Made by Felix de Rooy and Kirk Claes.

-Ellen Spijkstra, 'Gateway to a Gateway', New Ceramics, The European Ceramics Magazine, no 1, 2013, p. 46, 47

-Jolande Wood, Islas del Caribe: naturaleza-arte-sociedad, Editorial Clacso, Cuba, 2012, page 202-204

-Felix de Rooy and Jennifer Smit, Curaçao Classics, KIT publishers, 2012, page 118,119 and 136-139

-Jeff Greenwald, 'Where art imitates ocean life', San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 2012

-Caitlin McGinn, 'The art and lifestyle of Ellen Spijkstra', Loftier Living, nov/dec 2011, page 34

-Dutch International Society (USA) D.I.S. Magazine, Volume 42, no. 2, September 2011, page 24-27

-Catalogue Primero Trienal Internacional del Caribe, 2011, page 234

-Kristel Slagter en Eef Ouwehand, Enjoy the secret, the unmarked, the beloved & stylish, Diva's-publishing, 2010, page 240-247

-Scott Meyer, 'Ellen Spijkstra's quiet search', Ceramic Arts & Perception, International, no 76, 2009, page 28-30

-Marjan Unger, Marianne de Tolentino a.o., Global Local, Ellen Spijkstra, ceramics & photography,  Uitgeverij d’jonge Hond, 2008, 134 pages ISBN 978-90-89100-73-3

-Jimmy Clark, 'Caribbean ceramics', New Ceramics, International, no 5, 2008

-Nancy Wilstach, Artist travels 2,000 miles to help fire kiln at UM’, The Birmingham News, AL, USA, 2008, page 1B, 2B

-Myriam Macias Abady, ‘Curaçao’s Public Art’, Nights, 2008, page 34

-Nicole Henriquez, Lusette (Pòpi) Verboom en Renske van der Zee, Het Gouverneurshuis van de Nederlandse Antillen,

een rondgang langs Antilliaanse en Nederlandse kunst, 2008, page 128,129

-Jennifer Smit, Inspired by the Snoa, MMVIII Synagogue Mikvé Israel-Emanuel, Curaçao, 2008

-Pauline Prinsen, ‘Con Amore’, Objekt © international, The Netherlands, volume 39, 2007, page 118-124

-Sinaya Wolfert, Curaçao Artists, 2007, page 156 - 167

-Eva Breukink, ‘Het mooie zichtbaar maken’, Antilliaans Dagblad, Curaçao, September 8, 2006, page 10, 11

-The Third ASNA Clay Triennial 2006, Karachi, Pakistan, page 16

-The Caribbean in the Age of Modernity, NALIS, Trinidad, 2006, page 30, 31

-Patricia Mohammed, 'Photography exhibition', Caribbean Studies Newsletter, spring 2006, page14

-Erik Jager, ‘Te gast bij Ellen Spijkstra’, Eigen Huis & Interieur, The Netherlands, July 2005, page 238, 239

-M.J., ‘Waterwerk’, De Telegraaf, The Netherlands, February 17, 2005

-Nel Casimiri, ‘Liefde voor de stenen van Curaçao’,  Amigoe, Curaçao, January 15, 2005

-Hans Fonk, Dutch Caribbean Architecture & Style, 2004, Curaçao Style Foundation, page 164, 165, 212 , 213

-Henry Parisius a.o., Geraffineerde Kunst / Refined Art, 2004, KIT Publishers Amsterdam, page 26-28, photo 22-43

-Johan Bosveld, 'De schoonheid van verwoesting', De Stentor, The Netherlands, November 18, 2004

-Farley Laurens, Ellen Spijkstra i su Studio Chihumè, Empresa Chikí, October 2004, page 5

-Pauline Prinsen,  'Ceramische kunst uit de bush'Objekt, The Netherlands, volume 24, 2003, page 22-26

-Laman 2003, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba, 2003, page 27

-1° Bienal Internacional Del Mosaico Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2003, page 51

-Adi Martis & Jennifer Smit, Arte, Dutch Caribbean Art, 2002, Ian Randle publishers, Jamaica / KIT publishers,

The Netherlands, page 98, 99

-Sluitertijd, Ellen Spijkstra, Fragmenten uit de haven, Arts & Auto,The Netherlands, April 2002, cover and page 58-59

-Bernd Pfannkuche, Ellen Spijkstra, Keramik aus der Karibik, Neue Keramik, Germany, March/April 2001, page 20-24

-Marianne de Tolentino,  'Ellen Spijkstra, fotografa de Curazao',  Cariforum, Cultural Magazine of the Caribbean,

Dominican Republic, volume  3, December 2000, cover and page 70-74

-The Sixth Taiwan Golden Ceramics Awards, Yingko Ceramics Museum, 2000, Wushing Books Publication Ltd., page 74

-Séptima Bienal de La Habana, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, 2000, Art for the World, page 337

-Marianne de Tolentino, ‘Art ’99 in Curaçao: Opinion of a jury’, Art Nexus, Colombia, volume 35, Februari/April 2000

-Hans Fonk, Curaçao Architectural Style, 1999, Curaçao Style Foundation, page 29,158,159

-La Vida Urbana en la región del Caribe, Centro Cultural Cariforo de la República Dominicana, 1999, page 49

-Makiri Mual, ‘The Curaçao Connection’, Glas en kristal, aardewerk en porselein, The Netherlands, July 1999, page 71-78

-Renee Steenbergen,  ‘The Curaçao Connection’, N.R.C. Handelsblad, The Netherlands, August 13, 1999

-Wouter Welling, ‘Een grote rijkdom aan smaken’, Kunstbeeld, The Netherlands, June 1998, page 44-47

-Nelly Barbieri, El Movimiento Cerámico en Venezuela, 1998, Consejo nacional de la Cultura, Venezuela, page 117

-Yih-Wen Kuo, ‘Curaçao’, Ceramic Art, Taiwan, December 1996, page 124-128

-Ruud van der Neut, ‘Curaçao, hopi nice’, Objekt, The Netherlands, spring 1996, page 170

-Wim van der Beek, ‘Ellen Spijkstra toont nadagen van koloniale grandeur’,  Zwolse Courant, The Netherlands, March 29, 1995

-Wouter Welling, ‘De Passie’, Kunstbeeld, The Netherlands, March 1995, page 47

-Nicole Henriquez and Jennifer Smit, Ellen Spijkstra Ceramics & Photography, 1994, The Curaçao Museum Foundation, page 1-30

-4th World Triennal Exhibition of Small Ceramics, Croatia, 1993, page 179

-Amable Lopez Melendez , ‘Ellen Spijkstra, Ceramista holandesa se destaca en Curazao’, Hoy, Dominican Republic, June 27, 1992

-Un Abraso ku Koló, Cultureel Centrum het Oude Slot, The Netherlands, 1992, page 20

-Gala di Arte, International Trade Center Curaçao, 1991, page 89

-Nelly Barbieri, ‘Entre Tornos’, El Nacional, Venezuela, November 7, 1990

-Karin Wijnand, ‘Expositie Potpourri op Curaçao’, Keramiek, the Netherlands, September 1989, page 28

-Mariveni Rodriguez, ‘Ellen Spijkstra, La Ceramica como Arte’, El Nacional, Venezuela, May 27, 1989

-Bida i Koló, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, The Netherlands, 1989, page 36, 37

-Sybren Paul,  ‘Keihard werken levert steengoede expositie’, Amigoe, Curaçao, March 26, 1985



2000 Award final selection, Taipei County Government, Taiwan (Ceramics).

1999 Honorable Mention Arte '99, Curaçao (Photography).

1993 Curaçao Museum Lustrum Prize, Curaçao (Ceramics and Photography).

1990 Award of Merit, international photo competition 'Romance', New York Institute of Photography, NY, USA (photography).

1989 Third Prize, international photo competition 'Architecture', New York Institute of Photography, NY, USA (photography).

1985 Best of category, The Strong Art Show & Sell, Rochester, NY, USA (Ceramics).

1985 First Prize, photo competition Innerwheel, Curaçao (photography).