Erna Reiken is a painter who didn’t go through the institution of art college at a young age but whose desire and need to follow her artistic road led her to begin seriously painting when she was in her 30’s. I’d like to think her life experience, her education in things other than art, has played a formative part in her paintings. Her still life compositions are rather traditional yet distinctly contemporary; they’re vibrant, the brush work loose with wonderful pattern work rendered in muted colours.
Here’s what she says about her work:
My paintings are about people, often women, and the way they take or are given space. They are about presence and absence. About seeing and being seen. These subjects are closely related to my personal development and how I relate to my own environment. They are about insecurities, victories, shame and pride.
A painting of mine is my visualization of an effort to come to grips with a reality, a room, a still live, an object, which presented itself to me. And hopefully this painting or drawing is able to evoke new truths for those who look at it. That way the circle is round: even the result of my artistic process means different things to different people.