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Annette Nieukerk

  • Mixed Media
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Now in my fifth decade of art practice, I have had a varied career spanning disciplines, media and genre. As a young artist, I depicted the prairie landscape using silkscreen printing as my medium of choice. Then in mid-career, I became passionately involved in theatre design and followed that path for many years while still maintaining my role as an art educator. Today I work out of a studio in East Vancouver utilizing a variety of mixed painting and drawing media employing the aging human figure as the focus of my practice. Formally taught, with a BFA in printmaking, a BEd in Art Education, and an MFA in theatre design, I have made art my life’s pursuit and career, and now in my retirement years my full-time occupation. Always having a passion for figurative work, I find that as I age I am no longer content to portray youthful lithesome bodies that have throughout history been the subject of figurative paintings. Influenced by the work of other female artists whose work I deeply admire such as Aleah Chapin and Francine Krieg, my interest has shifted to the aging body. Older women, older couples - those often overlooked by our society’s focus on youth and anti-aging - become portrayals of beauty in my multi-layered, multi-media paintings. I work in a fairly representational style on several layers of translucent drafting film with walnut ink and oil paint. Other imagery from the natural world - flowers, birds, insects - are also employed to enhance the image and add other layers of symbolic meaning. The images are often then sliced up and rearranged in new compositions on birch panel with careful attention to the use of the wood grain on the panel. I find this technique is well suited to expressing the layers of narrative and intricacy that are at the core of the aging form and indeed at the heart of all human existence.

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