San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
August 6-September 6, 2016
When she was 17, van de Wiel’s stepmother tentatively suggested she go to Art School. Her incurable doodling, after all, was hard not to miss. Not interested, she said. She wanted to be a teacher. Four years later, she walked away from the University of NSW with a B.A. (Drama, English, Psychology) and Diploma of Education in hand. Soon after, she signed up at the School of Visual Art. Her life turned around. It took more than 30 years before she’d picked up a paintbrush.
Her creative reputation as entrepreneur was well established in Australia before she moved her branding business to New York in 2000. As creative director, speaker, radio host and storyteller, she’s worn many hats. (Same pipeline.) Black line always takes center stage. She sees grit, drama and true color in B/W. Maybe that’s what living in New York for 24 years does to you. She hasn’t been spotted in color for some time.
Four years ago, van de Wiel put aside her sketchbooks and began to scale her work big, bold and impulsive. It started with black house paint on a wall in San Miguel de Allende, exploded floor to ceiling in Brooklyn, trailed over gallery walls of her first exhibition in Sydney in 2015 and now, her large canvases in Mexico’s Galeria Manuk make for high-drama mileage when interpreted and applied to lights and custom-designed woven wool rugs. Wherever there’s a chance to play.
Artist Lourdes Rivera’s Galeria Manuk is presenting van de Wiel’s work in a Group Show in the prestigious Cultural Arts and Design Center, Fabrica La Aurora — a former textile factory and now, one of the main attractions in San Miguel de Allende. Bold and exuberant, her paintings celebrate the power of B/W mark-making. She calls it painting her way into being. In the meantime, this Dutch sea captain’s daughter is continuing to paint her way back and forth across the US, MX & AUS.