Renée Koldewijn’s work is about how people of different cultures interact. A recurring theme is communication and identity in transition. Cross cultural and cross time. In her artwork she refers to the way West-African people in former European colonies kept their own culture alive. In Suriname, the Antilles and Brasil, West-African people developed secret, non verbal languages during slavery. In dances like capoeira and by fabrics and by dresscodes people could ‘sent’ messages.
In her portraits and installations Koldewijn processes fabrics, paint, photography, performance and film, creating her own imagery language to tell her stories. She exchanges periods of working solo with periods of collaboration with artists from another cultural background.
“I love West-African and Afro-American culture. Now and then I like to exchange and work together with another artist for a couple of months. Somebody else brings to surface another You, develops a new part of yourself.”
In Renée Koldewijn’s own secret language, umbrella’s, hares, hats and shirts are recurring symbols. What are they telling us?