I am Jewish and have lived with the aftermath of war, loss and separation all my life. I was born after the war in Amsterdam to my mother who survived the war by just walking out. Then she just kept on walking. The rest of her family were all holocaust non survivors. Our little family lived in the artistic world of Laren NH near Amsterdam. A place known for art, music and culture, a sort of Deia in Holland. Painting and playing the piano was all I wanted to do and I had the opportunities to do both. My mother was a sufferer both in health and mind after the war and all my life I witnessed her hospitalizations and treatments. To survive what she had done and still try hard with her Goldsmith skills to raise a family was admirable. My brother and I lived our childhoods with our mother’s health a shadow and our father’s leaving a loss.
I was educated in our Dutch world and even went to the same school for awhile as the Dutch princesses. We had so little and many of my classmates had so much – that is how it was then for us. I was preoccupied with my mother’s problems but had all the time in the world for animals, plants, painting and music. My choice then was to be a pianist or an artist when I grew up.
My mother ended up in hospital for long periods and this freed me from looking after her to travel. I was desperate to travel and see more of the world and I headed for Israel and began my first adventure. Banana picking on a Kibbutz and time to paint all I saw from chicken and rat’s bones to sunsets. My fascination was always with particles and the movement of everything. Nothing static and fixed, everything always changing and fluid. This summed up my life as I knew I could take nothing and no-one for granted. To love meant risking loss and that is what the particles meant to me.
Jerusalem next stop and a conventional job in a book publishers and then back to Holland and sick mother. In 1972 she died and my work was done. I was an artistic free spirit who yearned for life, adventure, art and music. A friend of my mothers saw that I needed a break and sent me off to visit her daughter who was living in Mallorca. I arrived and found her not too happy to have a house guest so I found a Pension in La Llonga and explored every inch of Palma in three weeks. I painted and chatted and had the best time. I loved everything I saw plus the sunshine.
That experience led me to a companion’s job in Ibiza where I could live, paint, cook dinner and have conversation as the rent. My life could be regarded as serendipity or that a greater good was nudging me in the direction I should go. I became a prolific painter and had my first full exhibition in 1974. After Ibiza I took the boat to Majorca and ended up talking to a boatman on the quay. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. He gave me tea and directed me to the bus station as it was in those days and told me to ‘get a bus to Deia’. Such a cliché I know but I really didn’t leave after that.
I was able to live in Mallorca and support myself because the Dutch Government had a scheme at the time to buy up Dutch painters work. Many of my paintings adorn Town Halls, Libraries and public buildings in Amsterdam. This was such a gift from my country because it enabled me to do the work I wanted and live anywhere I felt like.
Deia in the early 1970’s had everything I wanted including access to three wonderful pianos. I painted, had music and interesting people surrounding me and lived very simply on little money. The particles of my life were finding expression on canvas and photographs and people were buying in their droves. At that time my work was exceedingly popular. I travelled from Deia and had time in Oslo, Stockholm and the UK painting and exhibiting. Home now was Deia and it was to there that I returned to feed my soul and spirit. It was also there in 1977 I met Anthony and we have been together for the past 40 years.
These days we live in Soller for half the year and India for the rest. Anthony was originally from Vienna but was sent as a child to escape wartime persecution to the UK. He was educated in the private schools of the time and became more English than the English with his cut glass accent. Anthony already had a life here in Mallorca and worked hard and made his living like everyone else. He was not a ‘remittance man’ as they used to call the ‘Trust Fund boys’ who lived here at the time. Anthony lived and worked here and we have had as normal a life as is possible with a multidimensional artist for a wife.
In 1987 our love affair with India began and particularly with Indian music. In Madras we found the concert series that enabled us to have a degree course in Indian music. The sound particles and patterns appealed to me together with the mix of romantic and devotional music. Since that time we have spent 3 to 6 months in India annually and are at home there in the same way as we are in Soller. My paintings continue while I am there but do not take on a particularly Indian theme. Particles and movement appear all over the world in a similar pattern and I continue to let them flow.
Having made the journey to India we are always en route to another country and another adventure on our way back. I have now travelled most of the world and been hugely privileged in so doing. Art and Anthony have been the keys that has unlocked the world to me and I am very blest.
I have exhibited in many places in the world and also very regularly in The Residencia in Deia. I currently have a retrospective exhibition in Can Prunera, The Museum of Modern Art in Soller. This exhibition continues daily until 28th January 2018. This venue has given me a glorious opportunity to display my paintings, painted books and photographs.
I paint every day, wherever I am in the world. To be able to express myself in art, encompassing all my happiness and the sadness of the past, is a precious gift and I am grateful.
Carrer de sa Lluna 86 – 90
Open 10.30 to 6.30pm
Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Mondays
Tel 971 63 89 73
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