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Reinharda Drijfhamer - Interview with the artist
biography
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"Art is an inner need"

Reinharda, born in Epe, The Netherlands, lives and works in Eindhoven and has since 1984 exhibited her work in a large number of galleries and museums both in her own country and abroad. The high quality of her work, to be seen on these pages, makes her an artist much in demand.

With water color and collage, the techniques she primarily employs, she creates works which are organic in character. Abstract? No, not really. Figurative? By no means. But not 'something in between the two either'. What her work does, at least that is what it does to me, is evoke images that mean something to me, the way images come to mind when you read a book. You are carried along by the story, as it were, or in this case by the art work. In either case it is the evocation of a mood or atmosphere that counts. Even elements like a bird or gateway (recognizable as such) are never primary motifs in her water colors, but components which have their place in the totality without dominating the scene.

Reinharda's most recent works do not stop at the edge of the frame, instead the frame becomes part of them. She integrates it with the water colors, or rather with the collages created in mixed techniques. To do this, she makes use of the age-old technique of mosaic, drawing on a wide range of ceramic material which gives her an almost unlimited choice of color. These art works are framed by the environment in which they are placed.

The preference some artists have for leaving their work untitled is not shared by Reinharda. "I like titles, so every work has a title. It's as simple as that", she says. "Not that I think I've got a title and I'll paint something to go with it, but when a work is finished it makes me think of something I can put into words. Compare it with a town square: it is nothing in itself; it is formed by houses, buildings and roads. After their appearance around a piece of ground, that anonymous area is given the name 'square'. You could say that was also a title."

Reinharda is also not the type of artist whose work always has the same theme at the heart of it. Every water color, collage or object is a reflection of the way she perceives the world at that moment. Her subtle use of color and application of a variety of unusual and surprising materials and forms give us the chance to share in her experience.

The primary message offered is, as in all fine arts, not an explicit one, but something that comes from the artist's heart and is sensed by the observer. Vassily Kandinsky's avowal that art springs from an inner need, is borne out by Reinharda's work.

Interview by Theo uit den Boogaard, 1996
Published in the Twentsche Courant

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