I grew up in a small town in the Netherlands, surrounded by nature’s splendor to amaze me every single day. Without any siblings, but with a solid crew of animal friends (including a fair amount of dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, chinchillas, and what not) and some pretty amazing parents, I discovered the world in my own way. The environment I grew up in allowed me to interact with the most beautiful creatures and other elements that nature had to offer. Using pencils and paper became the way to ‘cope’ with these elements and it made them meaningful. Gradually, new materials were added to my creative toolkit, which provided me with even more ways to explore the meaning of all things ‘out there’. Looking back, every single one of these elements created a foundation for my work that continues to develop every single day.
The most important thing in life to me is that you should never lose your sense of wonder. This is also why I think that art should always evoke questions, rather than answers. Because when it does, we are forced to go outside our comfort zone and into worlds unknown. Only then, art allows us to discover new worlds and ways of being. By adding one material to another, I dream, imagine, build, create, maintain and promote a life that honors the animal-world around us and that hints at the beauty that is there for us to be seen.
Every piece of material that goes into the works I create has its own story and it is my aim to let it speak, as much as I let the materials speak to me and feed my imagination. With every brush stroke I apply, with every color I create, and with every element I add, I try to translate these stories into new wor(l)ds that are sent ‘out there’ again to be read. These stories include everything that I love – art, animals, and that never-ending sense of wonder – and most importantly, they allow me to share this love with whomever that perceives them. I therefore like to think that what I make is more than a creation. It is an invitation to get lost in worlds unknown.
Dewi Plass was born in 1990 in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. Surrounded by some of the most splendid landscapes, Dewi spent most of her childhood exploring nature’s structures and the life it holds, all while being accompanied by her large extended family of furry animal friends. Even when going outside wasn’t an option, she continued to discover the world around her through the means of ink and paper. Inspired by the rustling of the trees, the birds in the sky, and Walt Disney’s Bambi on repeat, life through and with art became Dewi’s way of being in this world from an early age.
With the ride down high school’s path being quite bumpy, engaging herself with art proved to be the safe haven that Dewi sought. Whether it was through listening to music (preferably the heavy kind) and visiting shows, or through creating a drawing, there always was room for artistic expression and creative growth. Dewi got to experience the passion, dedication and the energy that travels between people when connected through art.
In 2009 Dewi pursued an academic career in the field of Cultural Anthropology. Consequently, Dewi’s creative endeavors moved to the background, as her focus became oriented towards the meanings and messages of human cultural life within this world. Pencil and paper made room for a keyboard and computer screen. However, this shift away from the creative did not last long.
After receiving her Bachelor’s from the Radboud University Nijmegen, Dewi felt the need to add more of the ‘creative’ to the ‘academic’. She found a platform to do so at the Leiden University, where she enrolled in the MA program of visual ethnography. Here, the art of film and video was added to her creative vocabulary. While exploring the ways in which film could contribute to academic analysis and representation, Dewi became increasingly interested in the ways art and anthropology strengthen each other. Both disciplines are imbued with questions of meaning and representation, and combining the two opened up new ways for meaning to come into being.
As a part of her thesis, Dewi completed her first experimental ethnographic film, ‘As the water flows’, that raised many eyebrows as well as smiles, and made its debut onto the big screen at Beeld voor Beeld filmfestival in early 2015.
With a MA degree in hand, Dewi decided to focus on her development as a full time visual artist. Armed with ink, paint, paper, a camera and a still quite large amount of animal friends, she is eager to explore and share new sparks of imagination and creation. Having learned that art is about engagement – a moment, a thought, a lifeworld – captured in time and space and designated to be entwined with other people their thoughts, perceptions and ways of being in this world, she is exited to share her work with you, online, but also within many other localities of this world.