‘The art of Dutch artist Handiedan involves a complex cut and paste mixture of digital and highly detailed sculptural hand cut collages, complimented by conscientiously collected antique ornamental frames.
Handiedan’s accomplished and refined collage technique allows her for an artistic journey through past, present and future. The result is an almost kaleidoscopical visual exploration whose discoveries are sometimes immediately visible and sometimes hidden in plain sight.’
There is a luscious, sensual aliveness to the collages of artist Handiedan. Her multi-layered feminine centered hand cut collages, are soaked in powerful imagery and symbolic wonderings. Handiedan creates a vision, a texture and a complex beauty, featuring her vintage pin-up girls. These sensuous women wrapped and blanketed by patterns and geometric shapes, have a way of connecting you on a deeper level. There is a mesmerizing quality to each piece, a sense of nostalgia in the colour palette and the subjects are like a beacon, a homage to times gone by. I interviewed artist Handiedan and spoke to her about her deep interest in science, her work, and explored her connection to the world and her collages.
You have some of the most discernible characters in your art works. Although each piece is unique, they are unmistakably yours, with the presence of similar themes and narratives. I know you are asked this question a lot but how did you first become drawn to the vintage pin-ups and the themes in your collages, and can you elaborate on where you are, personally, at this time, and what has changed or what you have learnt after so many years of this style?
I like to use the classical pin-up because of the high cultural value and they exhibit a tasteful response to female sexuality. The sensual female form can symbolize both soft and strong, radiates both power and vulnerability. An origin of softness and growth, purity, sexuality of beauty and decay.
During the years of working with this style and subject I’ve experienced the different layers of the symbolics and femininity. How important and to date these subjects are, in modern society. A difficult, but interesting discussion, with a lot of unsolved answers. So much to learn.
There are so many hours of fine detailed work and cutting to produce your collages. Are you still as excited to approach each new piece and is it easy to find inspiration and motivation?
Yes totally! Every time is a new little world full of layers. I try to be an explorer of my own work with curious eyes.
Are you still working on your large scale murals? Have you been back to visit any of your past works and where could we find your favourite mural?
In September I will be working on a new wheat paste installation at Kaaboo del Mar Festival. It will be visible for visitors of the festival from the 14th till 16th September, 2018
Sadly I haven’t visited my other murals before they decayed.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice from your early years as an artist, what would it be?
Things need time. Stay passionate and keep on creating and in motion, but things and ideas do need a certain time to develop in the best way. Like a curry, it always tastes better when you let the ingredients simmer for a night.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
The large wheat pasted murals I’ve done.
I know that your ‘other’ passion is for science. Have you still been exploring atoms and the galaxy? Can you share some interesting facts with us and show off your science skills?
Loving this question, thank you!
I’m totally a fan of the animated videos of Kurzgezagt (In a Nutshell). One of them taught me the theory that our whole universe as we know it could be one big holographic projection. 3D information collected as flat information on the border surface of a black hole… Yep :)
Oh, and trees seem to have a heartbeat. But so very slow, that it has never been noticed before!
Do external forces have much impact on you and your work, say for example the current political climate, human rights issues or the women’s movement?
It is difficult to ignore or not experience the current earth events and situations. The earth is literally warming up and the energy between beings as well. In my work I’m not highlighting one specific issue, but I try to embed the global question in some kind of way. For example, the question about how we use energy in this world. In nature, but also the interaction of energy between beings.
I would love to know what your own favourite piece has been to date and what do you love about it?
It’s difficult to name one specific piece, as every piece is connected with a specific period of time and mood. Usually my today’s favourite piece would be one of my newest pieces. Today it is ‘Rode Vlinder’. It has a very strong personal connection and it symbolised the transformation and growth I’m experiencing right now.
I know that you have a deep connection to symbolism and sacred symbols. What has been the most transformative experience in your life so far?
Cliché, but true: Age, getting older.
Is there anything new you would like to try that, if time allowed, you would like to explore more deeply?
Learn more about deep space and science in a professional way!
Can you tell us what exciting things you have planned for the rest of the year?
So, the Kaaboo del Mar installation project will take off in the second week of September. At the same time, my blue and white collage piece on vintage ceramics ‘Bollywood Sugar in Blue’ will be part of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s ‘Ephemeral’ show at Modern Eden in San Francisco, opening 15 September.
In October, I will release a new art print with Pangea Seed Foundation. Part of the proceeds will be used to help protect the ocean waters, underwater life, educate and create awareness. In this art print you will find the Nautilus, a creature existing for over 500 million years, the Beluga or also named White whale, and the beautiful coral reefs. These are all on the verge of extinction.
In April, next year, I’m very excited to debut with an artwork in Rome at Dorothy Circus Gallery, as being part of the ‘The Mother and Child’ show and in November 2019, I will be celebrating my solo show at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.
10 quick questions! GO
Favourite scissors to use for collages?
Fiskars manicure scissors
Red thai curry
Favourite place on Earth?
Do you have any pets? Type and name please.
A cat and her name is Cactus
2 things you would take on a desert island?
Fresh cold water and an umbrella
Favourite artists living or dead?
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
Favourite time of day?
Early morning and middle of the night
Best quote for inspiration or motivation?
Manage energy, not time
Best piece of advice you ever received?
‘Do what you love and love what you do’ and I would like to add a new favourite: ‘Manage energy, not time’.