Jet Nijkamp is an Amsterdam based visual artist. She has her studio at Retort Ateliers, an artist initiative of about 35 studios including a guest studio. She is also trained as a law historian (PhD) and as a palaeographer.
"In my work my focus is on drawing urban trees, quiet organisms that live longer and slower than humans. Perfect models, which look like humans. While drawing a hornbeam I understood the myth of Apollo and Daphne. I found her hidden in that tree. High in a Canadian poplar I found a human torso that also made me think of the famous slaughtered cow paintings by Rembrandt, Soutine and Bacon. Currently I’m working on a special tree personality, a grafted horse chestnut in the Amsterdam Vondelpark, a wonderful mixture of cultures. Seen from the front, an elegant androgynous dancer stretches his or her arms. From the side it has a totally different look. Trees appeal to our imagination, teach us about life and therefore have a giant social role to fulfil, apart from their qualities to purify the air and lower the temperature on a hot day.
My URBAN TREES project is in progress. Until now it consists of drawings and paintings. In the future I’ll probably use video as well, like I did in my earlier projects on trees in urban areas. A publication will be one of the goals for presentation."
When bringing up nature and the environment in my work, I usually seek to build a connection mainly through positive emotions. Expressing care and inspiration for better days stirs up a discourse that understands and empowers, rather than overwhelm.
There is something powerful about reclaiming the feminine. Similar to the recent Nasty Woman boom, reclaiming the feminine as something powerful is the ultimate rebellion. Embracing the colour pink is what Sickles' work is about. Deconstructing the colour pink and rebuilding it into something positive is what she strives to do. In Flora & Fauna, Sickles turns the sentiment about women resembling or being fragile flowers, or their virginity, another male implemented social construct meant to oppress women, into a beautiful photo series with underlying tones of sexuality and death. Taking place in nature and featuring the female nude, Flora & Fauna reminisces on what it means to be a part of the circle of life, reframing the concept in a way that is positive and empowering and feminist.
Sarah Sickles is a fine artist examining her world through a pink lens. Earning her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Sarah works with multiple mediums like fibres, photography, and drawing, usually cumulating in a colourful installation. Sarah is a member of the collaborative group 4 grrrls and was recently published in Pics or It Didn't Happen alongside Petra Collins and Rupi Kaur. She has shown work in group shows across the US and has been published in numerous independent magazines. Sarah is also the Founder and Editor of Pink Things, a submission based zine dedicated to exploring concepts related to the colour pink. You can view more of her work at www.sarahsickles.com.
Willem Douven is a self thought photographer and teacher born in Neerpelt and living in Houthalen in Belgium. As a teacher and as a person, he’s aware of the busy/jittery/stressy world we live in. As a photographer he is fascinated by the fast world we live in and the scenes this creates in the everyday world and cities.
"If the light is good, it's worth a photo!"
Willem turns to nature to escape a fast-paced world. As a moral education teacher, he is aware of the importance and beauty Mother Earth provides us. He loves to experience the healing powers trees and nature gives the body and the spirit!