Maria Kuipers an Artist of Courage - Her Journey!

Maria Kuipers an  Artist of Courage

I first met Maria Kuipers in the eighties, when she was a successful, hardworking and ambitious businesswoman and even in those days I recognised in her an  artistic talent.  However sadly she was struck down with a mysterious  illness which drained her of energy and her life changed quite considerably,  as she strove to overcome the problems of those sad and unfortunate days. But as often happens in adverse circumstances, Maria discovered her interest in art and a dormant talent for painting. 

Over the years, we have remained friends though we are not  in constant contact due to circumstances. However I am very happy to see this lady of courage continue to advance and develope her career and talents in the world of artists. I leave Maria’s interesting personal testimony taken from her website with her kind permission, as the best way to introduce her to our visitors. Dario Poli

 My Journey

The journey that I have taken as an artist has been a long and circuitous one, one of discovery and healing whilst punctuated by intense periods of revelation that have propelled me towards my current working practises.

A pivotal point in my life story was when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and PTSD in 1990. It was at this point that my artistic journey began, as I had to give up running my own business. My first approach to painting was quite traditional, focussing on landscapes, whilst experimenting with various styles and mediums. As soon as I started a Foundation Course in 1994 followed by a Degree in Fine Art there was an immediate transition to more conceptual work. I was still experimenting and became interested in fusing together different art forms, which included textiles, printmaking and painting. Thematically, I was exploring issues of identity and disability, whilst exploring psychoanalytic and feminist art theories and practitioners.

Mysterious Journey by Maria Kuipers

After graduating, I mounted my second ‘Open House exhibition’ in Hove as part of the festival gallery trail. I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my degree work, which was my first truly mixed media piece, and an attempt to explore the impact of my disability, and its effect on my sense of identity. I continued to create new work, exploring a variety of different techniques and ideas, but without the continuity provided by an institution such as a University, I became confused about my direction.

In 2000 I decided to set up an Art & Health Project, assisted by funding from South East Arts, which proved crucial in relation to my development as a mixed media artist. This provided me with a necessary opportunity to break free from old modes of thinking and develop new ways of working. Working alongside a person centred art therapist facilitated a renewed sense of self-empowerment and gave me an invaluable insight into what I put on the canvas and why. This facilitated a shift towards a more holistic approach, particularly in respect to my health. It also provided me with the space, autonomy and courage to be me on the canvas, and to always cultivate a sense of play when creating new work, allowing each piece to evolve at its own pace.

Safe House By Maria Kuipers

I now produce abstract pieces, which include figurative and symbolic elements. This came about as a natural progression mainly through the exploration of diverse materials and by working intuitively. Artists such as Tapies, Nicholson and Salcedo have also inspired me, particularly in the development of textural surfaces and spatial concepts. I hope that my work can act as a touchstone for others; either to inspire experimentation or in mobilising emotions.  Maria Kuipers

Maria Kuipers is first and foremost an artist of emotional power.  Diagnosed with M.E. in 1990, she creates out of the tension of physical disability and inner strength.  Her works are intuitively conceived, uncovering layers of thought, imagery and symbol, which reach out to our inner selves. Using a process of layering, scraping back, reflecting and re-instating, the results are emotional landscapes of spiritual significance and impact.  Wally Fahrer


Thumb Collage


Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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