About Elysia Verhoeven (Dussen, 1953)
Elysia grew up on a farm near the village of Dussen, Noord-Brabant. The soil around this farm was clay from the nearby river Maas. After a short career in healthcare, Elysia decided to start a pottery program. She started with ceramics in 1974, as a student of Jan Müller in Orvelte, Drenthe. Here she learned the skills of pottery. This was a time to experiment with field-ovens, but also making plates, cups and vases, quickly but thoroughly. She worked in Orvelte till 1979.
Elysia started to travel to India, France and Canada, where she worked in communal potteries. It was very inspiring to work and to meet people from different countries all over the globe. For Elysia these journeys were intensive experiences, but it inspired her to build her own pottery studio when she cam back to Holland. Elysia sold her work in galleries, at home, but also on art markets all over the country.
The Spui-market in the heart of Amsterdam, she helped to organize, and for years, every Sunday she travelled from Drenthe to Amsterdam to partake in this market.
After having travelled around, Elysia came back to Drenthe, where she had lived in the seventies. In Drenthe Elysia first worked in her homebuilt studio at Geeuwenbrug, a very small village in Drenthe. When I met Elysia in 1997 she had a beautiful studio in the woods, next to the visitor centre of National Park Dwingelderveld. She offered me an exhibition in her gallery and from one thing came another! I was and still am intrigued by Elysia. She is the most honest and modest woman I have ever met. And although we differ in age, I bless the day I met her. Without her, my woodcuts would not have been made.
And for her own work: Elysia makes work by shaping it. Do not expect texts or explanations in which she describes the meaning of her work. She won't. Elysia makes intuitively what she wants. Her works are delicate and very much Elysia herself.