SASKIA VAN VOORN was born in 1958 in the Netherlands. Growing up in an artistic environment it was part of daily life to draw and paint, meet other artists and visit art galleries and museums. She studied painting and printmaking at the “Minerva Academie of Fine Arts” in Groningen and graduated in 1981. It was during her years at art school that she met Siene de Vries, a fellow student, who was to become her husband. After a successful early arts career she and her family immigrated to New Zealand in 1988. They now have their home and studios at Le Bons Bay on Banks Peninsula.
Landscapes, plants and people feature in Saskia’s paintings and prints. She generally works on a small scale in a figurative manner. The natural environment is her favourite subject and main inspiration. Saskia specialises in woodblock printing using a technique inspired by the 18th and 19th century woodcuts of Japan, Ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). She makes detailed drawings, made “en plein air” and photos, which she uses for her woodcut designs, capturing the mood of a particular moment in the often-changing landscape. For one print she uses multiple woodblocks, mostly 7 or 8, each block chosen for its own specific texture/grain. She makes extensive use of gradation in the colours to achieve depth and subtlety.
Her work is held in several public and private collections around the world. Saskia has exhibited her work widely in solo and group shows over the last 35 years. From 2007 onwards Saskia and Siene have opened their studios to the public for a month long exhibition, held in January each year, which draws local and international audiences.
Woodcut is a relief printing technique. The mirror image of the design is carved in the surface of the woodblock with a variety of tools, leaving the printing areas level with the surface, while removing the parts that won’t get the ink. The surface is covered with ink from a roller. In principle I use a different block for each colour, but quite often I am able to use more colours on one block as is the case in the example of the printing process of “Okains Bay from Fairy Rock”. For this woodcut I only used 6 blocks. By overprinting I am able to produce more colours. I spend quite a bit of time on proof printing, experimenting with the different colour combinations, textures etc. till I am happy with the result and start with the printing of the edition.
Okains Bay from Fairy Rock
Selected exhibitions since 2000:
The Orion Gallery, Akaroa, NZ, with Siene and Tjalling de Vries, 2015
The Depot Artspace, Auckland, NZ, group exhibition, 2015
Eastside Gallery, Christchurch, NZ, group exhibition, 2015
Kick Arts Contemporary Arts, Cairns, AUS, group exhibition, 2015
Art et Fare Gallery, Akaroa, NZ, with Siene de Vries, 2013.
Le Bons Bay Studios, Le Bons Bay, NZ, summer exhibition with Siene de Vries, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Little River Gallery, Little River, NZ, with Siene de Vries and Simon van der Sluys, 2011
Exquisite Corpse Gallery, Kalamazoo, USA, group exhibition, 2008.
Water Street Gallery, Douglas, USA, group exhibition, 2008.
The Orion Gallery, Akaroa, NZ, with Siene de Vries, 2006.
The Orion Gallery, Akaroa, NZ, group exhibition, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
Galeridelaar, Bingelrade, The Netherlands, group exhibition, 2004.
Allegory Art Gallery, Christchurch, NZ, group exhibition, 2003.
Selwyn Gallery, Darfield, NZ, with Mariette van Zuydam, 2002.
Allegory Art Gallery, Christchurch, NZ, solo exhibition, 2002.
Galerie Brink 7, Yde, The Netherlands, group exhibition, 2001.
Grafisch Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands, solo exhibition, 2001.
Saskia can be contacted by e-mail or phone.
Phone 0064 3304 8544