• Sep 19, 2022
Meet: Vera Gulikers

Meet: Vera Gulikers

  • Sep 19, 2022
Vera Gulikers (30) is one of the nominees for the Parkstad Limburg Prize. She paints and makes sculptures.

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Vera was born in Meerssen and studied at the academy in Maastricht and Antwerp. She then returned to her Maastricht for a residency at the Jan van Eyck Academy. She now has a studio in the AINSi; with large windows, high ceiling and a view of the river Meuse. "I like working here; it's quiet and always seems sunny. At the same time, it is close to the city."

Her painting work revolves around the role of women within art history. Her work - paintings and sculptures - is very accessible and colourful. She explains where that comes from. "I find it important to create something that immediately appeals to a viewer, but at the same time has a deeper layer. For instance, the colours and shapes of my work initially attract attention, on a second look you will see that there is more behind it. It looks abstract, but it is essentially very figurative."

She likes to compare her style to a sweet shop, not least because of the "yummy" colours. "The use of pastel colours is a typical example of how I like to work: experiment and only stop when I recognise myself in something. At the academy, I worked a lot with plaster and wanted to make some brightly coloured sculptures. But during the process I found that the colours dried up lighter and lighter, it ended up in pastels. I liked it. The attraction of the colours draw the viewer, as it were, to the references underneath."

A teacher at the academy informed her that he got a foul taste in his mouth from the pastel colours. "A comment like that triggers me, it indicates that it chafes. Then I go right ahead with it," she laughs. "I seek the tension between the macho-like of abstract expressionism and the sweet, girly aspect of pastels. That counterpoint works."

Asked what she would do with the prize money, should she win, she modestly replies: "It would be a nice support to continue working. Money offers freedom. My ultimate dream is to be able to continue painting my way for years to come, without restrictions."

Vera also previously painted a mural at SCHUNCK. Read more about it here.

You can visit the exhibition of the Parkstad Limburg Prize nominees from 30 October.

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