visual artist

erna kuik

'Words are traveling very fast, becoming a sound in your head, so the message is better expressed that way, I think'

Bio

Erna Kuik (she/her), 1967, Zuidelijke IJsselmeerpolders, based in Steenderen.

Medium

Erna graduated from Artez Kampen in 1992, receiving the prestigious Gretha and Adri Pieck Prize, an award recognizing young artistic talent. Her transformative experience studying in Ireland in 1991 was marked by the awe-inspiring landscapes of the sea, islands, and wilderness, deepening her connection with nature and igniting her quest to find innovative ways to reconnect with it. Erna took the initiative to showcase her work, participating in exhibitions both in the Netherlands and internationally, often featuring her art at Art Amsterdam Spui—a creative and forward-thinking approach to introduce her work to a broad, both national and international audience. Erna is passionate about connecting with people and their stories, making her artistic journey a unique fusion of talent and human connection. Throughout her career, Erna made portraits in photography, often in outdoor locations that she felt added a unique, personal dimension to each individual.

Career

Erna creates artworks using a variety of techniques and materials. Her pieces come to life through the transformation of handmade paper, crafted from old magazines and enhanced with collages. Additionally, she employs the methods of woodcut and linocut, both forms of relief printing, as well as painting and photography to give shape to my artistic vision.

Through the medium of linocuts and paintings/ mixed media she aims to invite viewers into a sensory experience where words and images intertwine, igniting a profound connection between the mind and the physical world. She is a firm believer in the transformative power of art, using it to spark awareness, provoke introspection, and inspire positive action. As an artist, she carries a deep conviction that it is our responsibility, as part of the natural world, to nurture and protect the environment that sustains us.

Where some of our artists have just graduated from AKI ArtEZ, Erna (1967, The Netherlands) graduated here quite some time ago. With the support of the Encouragement Prize for Young Artists (Gretha and Adri Pieckprijs) and twice the support of Mondriaan Fonds (formerly known as Fonds BKVB) in her later career, she majored in ‘Free Graphic Art’ and learned various techniques including etching, lithography, and relief printing. The latter fascinated her most, leading to the creation of monumental woodcuts. A line becomes intriguing when transformed into a relief print. It gains strength and expression; the gouge makes a line whimsical and expressive. It’s a tool for ‘rewilding,’ infusing a work of art with life.

From the start, Erna has one clear mission: to touch people with her art. Whether it’s on Spui at the Art Market in Amsterdam or at group exhibitions at Museum de Fundatie, Kunst Museum Den Haag or at people’s homes all over the world. 

Visual art is like a relay race or a parallel universe to her. Ideas, shapes, and thoughts are passed on repeatedly and gradually evolve. When she recalls her dreams while working, she knows she’s on the right path. Erna creates her own paper from old magazines. She finds no paper more sustainable and beautiful, with its exquisite deckled edges and added collages. She also utilizes mulberry paper, Himalayan paper, or paper created next to a seashell factory in the Philippines. This causes the paper to glisten in the sun.

Alter house collection

WILD NOTES

Wild Notes captures the delicate balance of fragility and strength in nature. Erna Kuik’s wood and lino prints inspire us to appreciate the beauty and complexity in all aspects of nature and this collection reminds us that we are part of it. Lines want to wander into the wild and reach out to… you.