For 30 years I have been fascinated by sculpting in natural stone. I started sculpting as a young, single woman and developed both myself and my work during my studies, my marriage and life as a mother of three children. We are a family of five people - each growing in their own different way, all different sources of inspiration. We life in the centre of Amsterdam, but I work in my studio on Zeeburgereiland, an island on the outskirts of Amsterdam. With the help of my partner, I built my studio so I can work outside. I work with the protection of a glass roof, and a wood stove, with basic utilities and lots of freedom far from the regulated world, surrounded by a large collection of natural stones.
After university, where I studied Dutch language and literature combined with philosophy an art history, I chose the language of visual expression. Sculpting in natural stone gives me the freedom of creative expression without the boundaries of meaning. Having said that, the meaning lies within every sculpture, more so than I can imagine in words. Sculpting is a language of its own that exists beyond the visible reality and reaches further than our understanding. I love to express what I experiende in the world. My most important sources of inspiration are nature, ancient traces and human existence and interactions in general. It is a necessity for me to find my dialogue with the natural material to express my experience. The language of abstract forms offers me the perfect environment to express what I experience with the freedom to think out-of-the-box and with passion.
My favourite themes are movement, forms playing together, the impressions of volumes alone in their full existence or combined with other forms, divided by nice clear or more subtle lines. My distict handwriting can be found in repeatedly combining sculptured stone with rough parts of the rock or traces of my tools. And endless options you can encounter in my work.
The fascinating result of the process of creation: sculptures placed in the surrounding of the world's reality. Once placed in its surrounding, a sculpture adds space and it also offers a view into a different dimension.
Natural stone is very intriguing material in this creative process. Stones contain an incredible world of immeasurable forces, processes and myths. A piece of stone represents mother earth. I emphasize this natural character in my abstract sculptures. In addition, I like to add culture, which is meaningful but not excessive. I am both fascinated by the power of stone and impressed by the gentleness it offers.
There is a great variety of stones, each with its own qualities. The sculptures I make are from soapstone, alabaster, marble, hard stone, diabass and granite. There is an inevitable relationship between the stone and the design; it is all about combining the two. Sometimes it is an idea that makes me look for the appropriate type of stone, sometimes it is the stone that leads to the sculpture. The outcomes range from miniatures with the expression of a monument, to intimate sculptures that can be placed outdoors for an immeasurable period of time without eroding.
My true love is sculpting. Hope you will enjoy my work.
Mirjam de Nijs