Nicola Kloosterman was born and raised in South Africa until immigrating with her family to the Netherlands just before her tenth birthday, where she currently works and lives with her husband, three children, and two cats. She has a design and art direction background, and recently started sharing her collages online. Her work quickly caught the attention of Dutch ELLE magazine winning its 2016 illustration competition. Nicola’s collage work reflects on her love for vintage as well as contemporary imagery, freely mixing and matching each new piece.
In addition to her collage work, Nicola is a print maker, specializing in printing her own repeat designs onto textiles which are then made into textile products.
Nicole says, “A recurring theme in my work is the confinement of our modern lives and our inherent desire to be free. By literally breaking images from their original context, they are free to convey a new message devoid of expectation and rules” Sometimes torn, sometimes meticulously sliced, images are freed from their original context and placed together in unexpected ways. It’s a little like looking under the carpet of life with all the strings muddled, yet recognizable.”
Nicola will be hosting her fist solo exhibition in December this year in Amsterdam.
About her process, Nicole adds, “Most of my life I have carved out time to make things. What I actually made was always less important than the process of starting something in my imagination and then carrying it through to a finished piece. I love design and art direction.”
Visual communication is what brings me alive. I believe that visual language is our universal mother tongue and very suited to convey a message in a memorable way. On the other hand, I enjoy the process of making something with my hands. That is perhaps why I am a print maker and a collage artist. Both of these disciplines enable me to translate images that appear in my head into something I make with my hands.”
Contact Nicola here:
Pick the Artist’s Brain.
What is your favorite time period?
I’m a mid-century modern girl for almost anything. Furniture, pattern, illustration. Yes yes yes. Those organic lines and geometric shapes have me coming back for more. And more. I just never tire of it.
Who do you talk to on the phone the most
Actually, I have a bit of a phone phobia. Not that I won’t use the phone, but I avoid it if I can. I know, weird right? But I think I’m not alone. Lately, I have heard more people mention suffering this mild condition which leaves me to question WHY? Maybe it’s the disconnect of hearing a voice but not actually seeing the person?
What is your favorite novel and what does it say about your mind?
Reading is my favorite pastime and there are many novels that I love. One that has stayed with me always is Blindness by Jose Saramago. It’s about a sudden unexplained epidemic of blindness that sweeps over humanity and the social unraveling that follows. I am intrigued at how little separates us civilized from being savages and how fragile social order is. Reading books makes me a little less ‘blind’.
Did you have a particular birthday cake you had every year when you were growing up?
My mom is a super baker and baked ALL of our birthday cakes. I had a special one every year but I think the most memorable is the Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread House that collapsed at the last minute and had to be stuffed with tissues to hold up. I cannot remember the collapsing, but the 1970’s photograph of the cake has shaped my ‘memory’ of the incident. I find it fascinating that I don’t actually remember this cake, but because we have a picture of it, I feel like I do.
What is your favorite accent?
A South African accent of course! You rarely hear South Africans in the media here in Holland. It’s all British and American English and when I was young I would try to camouflage my strong South African accent. I can hear it immediately and it always creates a curious and mixed emotion of nostalgia and coming home at the same time.