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Women in the Suriname Art Scene 1

Women in the Suriname Art Scene 1

Many Surinamese women have expressed their vision and thoughts onto clear canvas as they desired through the years. In addition, ceramics, handmade bead & jewelry making, the art of batik, and woodworking are all creative expressions that have seen extensive growth. Of the estimated sixty-four participants of the Suriname International Art Fair a whopping twenty-six are female. The most well-known ‘Surinamese’ female artist is arguably the late Nola Hatterman who had dedicated her life to bring out local talent and to educate them to the point that they could develop their own Surinamese style. When one mentions female artists in Suriname the large impressive colorful paintings of Mrs. Dorette Kuster-Oehlers and Sri Irodikromo immediately come to mind. Their color pallet, large works, sometimes feminine colors and use of different fabrics and techniques tell their own story.


Fairly new on the Suriname art scene is the young student, Joelle Tiao. “I Started painting during the covid quarantine period. My mother had bought paint and canvas because she wanted to take up painting. I got curious and just started”. With no formal art training she made use of what was at hand namely Youtube, Pinterest and Google. “For me, just like music, painting became a way of letting off steam and relieve stress”. Tiao says she prefers painting faces. At the moment she is developing her skills in the painting of buildings and nature elements. “Art was always around me. Me and my parents regularly visited the Nationale Kunstbeurs (now SIAF). But my curiosity really developed when I started painting. I could scroll through Pinterest for hours to see the many different styles of art across the globe. A great broad spectrum of inspiration”. Quite a lot of this young artists inspiration is found on social media. She explains that she sees elements, small details that spark an idea to incorporate into her own works. Tiao admits that her greatest inspiration comes from the work of female artists as herself. “About 80% of my work is inspired by females. I really love the work of Elly Smallwood, Izumi Kogaghara and Miranda Gamel”. She believes that female Artists should be more visible in the mainstream art scene. “I think that women around the world are undervalued. There aren’t enough equal opportunities for them. I do see many female artists but I also know there are substantially many more out there.”


Coming from an artistic family where art was often part of life, Barbara Mac Intosch has now ventured into the world of creating her own art. Her job involves creating adds as a graphic designer and visual artist. “I have enjoyed it all my life. I have a lot of relatives, from grandfather to cousins ​​who were artists”. Developing her skills in private art classes, the art academy (AHKCO) and sessions with the Surinamese artist Ray Daal. She prefers to work with acrylic because of the versatile possibilities and beautiful colors. “With acrylic I can influence the structure well with various additives. Acrylic dries quickly, so I can continue working at a rapid pace and it’s easy to adjust my work in small increments. My artworks are usually portraits of people I find to have a powerful or interesting appearance. Usually these are portraits of ethnic women, because I think they have something wonderful and beautiful about them” According to Mac Intosch women are graceful and elegant with powerful expressions. “Though I know that men largely dominate in the world of art. Nonetheless I have never felt my work was less appreciated than that of a man. All my works are equally accepted and appreciated by my fellow male artists”.