by Josée Thissen-Rojer
‘E Wega di Bida – The Game of Life’, is the title of the new solo exhibition by visual artist, Suzet Rosaria (Curaçao, 1965), in Landhuis Bloemhof.
Prior to the exhibition, a short film is shared on social media as an announcement. It shows Suzet painting outdoors to the penetrating sounds of the Muzik di zumbi. The recording is made by her two daughters and immediately shows how she leads her life: self-aware, independent, and deeply rooted in her native soil.
The title ‘E Wega di Bida’ (The game of life) literally recurs time and again in the artworks, in the black-and-white checkered areas, and is a reference to the centuries-old board game, chess. “Just as every move in the board game helps you get a step ahead or rather sets you back, every experience in life is a learning moment and part of your growth process”, explains Suzet.
Suzet grew up in Curaçao and after completing secondary school, she continues her studies in the Netherlands. After finishing the Art Academy, she starts working in education. The desire to return to Curaçao and to her family doesn’t let up and after applying several times, she finally lands a job. In 2001 she returns to Curaçao with her husband and daughters. Meanwhile, Suzet’s been connected to MIL for 17 years, as an instructor of Cultural and Artistic Education (CAV, Culturele en Artistieke Vorming).
Besides teaching she has a home studio, so she can also work as a freelance artist. Over the course of 20 years, she holds a few solo exhibitions and frequently participates in group exhibitions and art-related events. In May of 2021, for instance, she’s one of the visual artists to paint a mural in the neighborhood of Suffisant upon invitation of the Ministry of OWCS, inspired by the history of the neighborhood’s residents. Suzet chooses to emphasize the role and womanhood of the Afro-Caribbean woman here.
Suzet displays characteristics of the Afro-Caribbean identity in her murals like the headscarf and the hairstyle, while also using these as symbols of wisdom and intelligence. Additionally, she uses Ghanese characters for strength, courage, and independence. She consciously paints young women with an uninhibited and bold look in their eyes, especially aimed at encouraging young women to embrace their ethnicity and point out to them that the world lies at their feet.
She started working on the current exhibition a year ago. The entrance hall at Landhuis Bloemhof is equipped as her studio and besides her easel and other painting supplies, there’s also a carnival costume and a well-known shopping bag. Thus, immediately making it crystal clear that she’s an artist who wears many hats.