Marjolein Petersen

I was born in Amsterdam in 1954 and grew up in a nearby village. When I was 19, I returned to Amsterdam after working various jobs. I then went to university and earned a degree in anthropology. During this time, I got divorced and held various roles such as a costume designer for theatre, journalist, and policy officer for a district in Amsterdam. At 29, I moved to Lisbon, Portugal for love. Sadly, my partner passed away from a heart attack when we were both 41, leading me to return to Amsterdam.

As a painter, I found my inspiration and inner strength through the challenges I faced in my personal life, which caused severe burnouts. Painting became my way of discovering my inner strength and the freedom within myself, similar to the freedom and curiosity we had as children. Growing up, we adapt to experiences and how we’ve been taught to handle life, often losing connection with our inner strength and molding ourselves based on what we perceive as reality. Inner strength, freedom, and love all stem from releasing fear, which is harming the earth and humanity by fueling the desire for power and control instead of collaborating with nature.

The freedom of spirit needed to create art allows for innovative thinking and finding solutions in daily life and professions. Through my art, I aim to provide others with the opportunity to reconnect with their innate power, which is free, intelligent, and caring towards each other and the world.

Central to my art practice is the pursuit of freedom. Allowing art to manifest itself without my interference is essential, although some decisions about composition and color need to be made at some point. It’s crucial not to let thoughts take over but to simply play their necessary role.

In my view, it’s crucial to rediscover our connection with ourselves, others, nature, and the world at large. Art is the most direct way to achieve this, both through creation and appreciation. Regarding freedom in my work, I echo the sentiment of the French composer Debussy, who seemingly said: “No effort will find anything better and more precise.”