For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Arthur Meijer

Menazil and Casas: Sculptures of houses

Wander down deserted side streets in quiet southern villages or suburbs. The blue sky shimmers with the heat and there are few people out and about. From inside the houses come aromas and snippets of conversations in a foreign language, the tinkle of cutlery and the sound of radio or TV. Outside it is quiet but the passer-by does not feel lonely. Who does not remember this lovely summery feeling ? Travelling to distant destinations can also be a journey back in time.

With amazement you look around at the old houses with odd later additions or with unusual, but still harmonious combinations of styles.
These are structures that took shape in the course of time, depending on the local conditions, available building materials and traditions.

Born in Haarlem 1951, married and father of two adult children.
After secondairy school worked 11 years in various functions suchs as shoe salesman, receptionist in a Spanish hotel, administrative coworker, bartender in a musiccafé, etc. since 1980: During several journeys I visited all kinds of regions and cities.

In Italy: Toscany en Umbria, Venice and Rome. Important for my work are visits to: San Giminiano, Siëna , Perugia, Orvietto, Gubbio en Cortona.

In Spain, important for my work is in Andalusia: Sevilla, Granada en Cordoba plus a few other smaller cities and villages. And in the Extremadura: Cácères plus other villages.

In Portugal I visites several cities and regions during multiple journeys.

I also made journeys through Peru, Morocco, Mali and Yemen (twice). I also visited Greece, Malta and Istanbul. Especially Yemen and Morocco were very inspiring.
autumn 2006: start of a multiple year course about the work of Spinoza
Moved to a new workshop: Nieuwe Teertuinen 17, Amsterdam
summer 2005: Exposition in Cisterne Romane & Monasterio delle Lucrezie, Todi, Umbria, Italy
february 2004: Invited by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of Yemen to exhibit in Yemen by the occasion of: ‘Sana’a cultural capital of the Arab World”
september 2002: started teaching ceramics at MK24 Amsterdam:
august 2001: participation of a symposium in Portugal: building a 3 meter high sculpture of a Yemenite towerhouse.
sept 2000: invited to attend at, the Expo 2000, Hannover, the national day and reception of Yemen.
from july 2000: full-time sculptor
1998: start collection Menazil.
1995: cycletour from Amsterdam to Santiago de Compostela
from 1994: start collection Casas.
since 1990: continiously followed courses in: modelling work, model painting, sculpturing in stone, casting bronze, painting with acrylic, explaining and understanding dreams.
1984 - 1986: 1st Degree education at the Academy for Visual Arts and Education in Amsterdam, subjects: Design in metal and ceramics.
Ceramics teacher at both Academies was Adriana Baarspul.
1983 - 2000: Art teacher at the Montessori High School in Amsterdam
1978 - 1983: Teachers college at De Witte Leli, Amsterdam; Design in Textiles and Handicraft, finishing study: ceramics.

Archways and alleys, patios, grand stairways and little staircases, loggias, verandas and balustrades. Sometimes elevated walkways. Glaring sunlight shines along the facades and is reflected back: a play of light and shade. Beautiful stone, lime and wood, splendidly weathered through time, blending in with the surroundings as they are also locally found.

It is also a pleasure to see what life is like there. Someone coming home along the alley pushing a scooter, leading a donkey or a pair of goats, stopping to chat with neighbours up on a balcony. Or to see the women in the shadows chatting as they prepare food. Great to daydream about how life was in earlier days.

I have always had a fascination for architecture. I find it marvellous to travel around the Mediterranean, with its tangible and ancient past: it is a kind of homecoming for me. I can visualize very well what life used to be like then. Or, during my journeys through Marocco, Yemen and Mali I wondered how our own lives used to be. A slower pace of life, the manual labour and time available for a chat.
Is that a nostalgic desire for a romanticized past?

The towering of my houses makes reference to human proportions. As the windows and other openings are small, it is difficult to look inside. We can only guess at the hidden life that takes place there: and from inside someone is looking at us.
The way the houses stand in space and relate to their surroundings, but also to each other, shows the way human relations and characters can be.

Although I have received a very broad training, finalised my academic levels in ceramics and design in metal, I have also learned to work with wood, synthetics, paper and textiles, I now specialise in ceramics.
I make my sculptures in ceramics because the skin (or texture) and the resulting colour of fired unglazed clay all go well with the summery atmosphere and the wonderment I want to evoke and above all closely resembles the finish of time that I so admire in old buildings.

These sculptures invite the viewer to daydream.

My earlier ceramic work was abstract, organic or very geometric in style. I also made abstract metal sculptures one of which is now part of the collection of the ?Academisch Medisch Centrum? in Amsterdam.

*Menzil: Arabic for large house. Plural: Menazil.

Of approx. 50 up to 125 cm.

No comments:


Blog Archive


Related Posts with Thumbnails