“Art is my life; everything must yield to this necessity I live for.”
Artist Annemieke Dicke is born in 1967 in Santpoort in the Netherlands, but within a year after her birth, her parents move overseas to our small Caribbean Island. She grows up in Curaçao with pencils and brushes in hand and starts drawing and painting the world around her with an irresistible urge. In 1981, at the age of 14, she wants to broaden her horizon and moves to the Netherlands. Here she attends the Constantijn Huygens Institute of Arts in Kampen and graduates in 1991 as an illustrator at the AKI Academy of Art & Design in Enschede.
In 1993, Annemieke returns to Curaçao and gets re-inspired by the island. Being an illustrator, she uses the art of storytelling in all her work but starts to experiment with all kinds of different styles, techniques, and materials. Her art is mainly autobiographic, and she finds inspiration in the more difficult periods of her life. She strives to fill a space with an object, whether a sculpture made of bronze or ceramics or with paintings on canvas or more unconventional surfaces.
Her work is always about people. Their shapes, curves, and features form the basics, but their feelings, interaction, and hidden emotions tell the story. Her artwork, ‘The Naked Truth’, is a perfect example of this philosophy. For an exhibition on the 100th anniversary of the oil refinery of Curaçao, she was asked to create a piece of art inspired by its history.
‘The Naked Truth’ is an acrylic painting on processed zinc plates. Annemieke wanted the zinc to look like it had been subjected to the test of time. To give the plates a weather-beaten look, she leaves them in the garden for weeks on end and even drives over them with a road roller.
“The image of the little girl standing, almost naked, in a sort of wasteland, with the refinery in the background is less controversial than you may think”, Annemieke explains. “Growing up in the neighborhood of Jongbloed and driving to school in Salinja, the chimneys of the Isla were just part of everyday life; I took no offense. My interest regarding the refinery is in our heritage.
A hundred years ago, the components of the oil refinery were shipped to Curaçao in wooden crates. These crates were used to build homes for the workers of the Isla, and to get them waterproof, they were paneled with tin or zinc from the oil drums. Every now and then, you’ll come across one of these houses. Some have been inhabited for a very long time. This is what inspired me.”
‘The Naked Truth’ by Annemieke Dicke and the work of thirty other Curaçao artists are exhibited in The Curaçao Museum from February the 15th till the 15th of April 2017.
2017: Written by Manon Hoefman.
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