Hi, there! :)

I am Marie-José Dings, a Dutch artist living and working in Helsinki, Finland. I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, The Netherlands. After finishing my studies I “traveled the world” and settled down in Helsinki as a wife, a mother, and as a teacher of arts and crafts at an adult education Centre.

I find inspiration in the happiness and the sorrow of everyday life (my own and that of the people around me). Generally speaking we all live similar lives, similar things make us happy or sad. The way we deal with things or the way we express thoughts and feelings is a reflection of our upbringing and cultural background. Living in a foreign culture and having one’s own history and background, thinking in one language and speaking in another, may cause contradictions. Maybe habits and language will never feel quite like your own. There are always two worlds to combine. My work tries to explore this.

I mainly work off a “pre-existent” base, which could be seen as a metaphor for the local culture, habits and rules. This base can be a painting, drawing, cardboard carving or a print, that I’ve made some time ago. I see my works as a result of a dialogue between the “current” me and the base material. By using colors, creating forms and applying lines or engravings, a discussion arises, a reaction on what has been offered to me. I search, adjust and build… By combining different materials and techniques I create many layers, and it might take several forms before I accept it to be a complete piece.

I float and choose where, when and to what I want to attach myself. As an immigrant without roots, I have the freedom to choose which parts of a culture I like to make my own and which not. Working intuitively, images arise from my sub consciousness, often in ways that even surprise myself.

Works are indeed available for purchase; if interested, please use the contact form to initiate a private communication. Thank you!

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