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Joyce van der Hoeven

I was born in 1966 and grew up in the Dutch village of Nuenen, where van Gogh painted his ‘Potato Eaters’. I was a creative soul and I started training as a florist at the young age of 12. After graduation I worked as a florist, but also took up oil painting and studied graphic design. I was looking for a medium wherein I could self express; something I could do without other people’s involvement.



My floristry work became very sculptural. I created avant garde arrangements of dry vinewood, slate and giant seed pods, built ten foot artificial trees for corporate lobbies and became well known for my abstract arrangements. I realised that what comes to me naturally is to create in 3D; this is where I was completely in my element.



In 1993 on a holiday in Wales I finally found my medium: stone. I started to carve into granite with a screwdriver and a hammer and made a memorial relief for my friend’s cottage. Back home I started to take seminars with a local artist, Linny Brouns, working in soapstone. We were encouraged to work intuitively and I still work like that today. The Egyptians called sculpture “making the stone alive”, and because I never plan what I make, it feels like my sculptures come to life whilst working on them.



I moved from soapstone to the other end of the spectrum; granite. Lucien van der Eerden, a renowned sculptor, was well known for accommodating sculptors-to-be. It was fantastic working in the woods where he lives, and that’s where I truly started my journey to become a sculptor. The partnership between myself and the stone became something I needed to pursue.



In 1999 I moved to Cornwall and began to fully focus on my sculpture. Working at first in my living room, where the dust got into the food and the CD player, I then moved to a shed in the garden, where I worked for years without power tools to keep the noise down. That way a sculpture took me several months to complete.


I began to exhibit my works in galleries in 2011 and I have recently been given the opportunity to work on some land by local stone mason Victor Cowley, where I can make lots of noise and use power tools. I continue to work there on a daily basis and hope to continue to reveal the graceful and sensual forms that lie within the stone, and to give my audience the freedom to explore and experience, to enjoy and criticise my works.



Courtesy of the artist’s website.