About Natasja Mulder ( Teteringen, Nederland, 6 november 1971 )
A look into my world :
As a young girl I wasn’t very girly. I didn’t like playing with dolls. But I did love Lego. And sawing, hammering, soldering and building huts. I just loved all the technical stuff ! When I went to school, manual classes were still different for boys and girls. The boys were allowed to practice carpentry, while the girls were stuck to the sewing machine. That wasn’t for me, so you can imagine I was very envious of everything the boys could make.
I also enjoyed drawing, so much so that I took weekly private lessons from the age of six all the way to sixteen. In that period I must have made hundreds of colourful drawings, usually featuring animals and nature.
In secondary school my orientation test yielded just one option: the arts academy. But because in those days, in the early 90’s, the arts were seen as a path with no future, people expected me to learn a “real” trade. I took the decision to work for a year to give myself more time to figure out what I should study. It wasn’t a coincidence that I found a technical job: a DIY carpentry workshop. One year became ten and I followed a course to become a franchise manager of a building material business. A course involving plenty of technical knowhow. I kept on drawing, albeit at a lower frequency. In the carpentry workshop I managed to bring my crafting skills to a higher level by learning how to handle woodworking machines.
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN MOSAIC ART
Through my many travels throughout Europe I got in contact with the art of mosaic. Not just any mosaic, but the authentic Italian style. I was already familiar with mosaic tiles, which are very common in the Netherlands, but when I got in touch with the authentic Italian art of mosaic, I knew that’s what I wanted to aspire to.
Learning to cut with a special hammer, using a chisel and a tree trunk. Working with marble and Venetian glass. Beautiful materials which allow you to make the most beautiful pieces. I took a seven-year mosaic course at the art academy of Wilrijk, Belgium, a course linked to the famed Spilimbergo mosaic school in Italy. It’s the only course in northern Europe where the authentic Italian style of mosaic is taught. In 2017 I graduated.
I also attended various masterclasses abroad at renowned mosaic artists like Marco Mezzanotte, Giovana Galli, Federica Casanova and Lucio Orsoni. As my knowledge about the Italian mosaic art kept on growing, so did my love for this beautiful trade. It’s a trade which combines artistry with artisanal techniques: a combination that brings together my two interests: technique and art. For me there’s nothing else like it.
WHAT DOES MOSAIC MEAN TO ME ?
Mosaic is more than just technique. Mosaic is more than just knowledge. Mosaic is not just a combination of materials. It’s not just putting together pieces of a seemingly simple puzzle. It’s not just the desire to surprise at all costs.
For me mosaic is passion, love, dreams, fantasy, a constant challenge, the desire to continually work in an innovative way. It’s about wonder. Wondering about the beauty of the materials, of marble and smalti. Mosaic is my life!
Mosaic tells a story. It engages the observer and bring him or her into my magical world of colours, movement, forms and harmony.
MY MOSAIC STORY
I try to engage people who view my work. Not just for an instant. I want them to enter my world and understand why I made certain choices. I want them to touch the work that also touches them, so they can feel how nice it is to create art.
I want to tell stories, my stories. Without asking myself what people will think about it. Unconstrained, almost naive, amazed, with an open heart.
People ask me where my inspiration comes from. It can come from anywhere, From nature, animals, colours, the play of lighting and shadows and life itself.,
I can be touched by the sunlight trickle through the leaves of a tree. Or an animal sleeping peacefully, or happily darting around. A museum visit van be very inspiring as well. Observing works of the masters in various art disciplines. Entering their worlds and re-living their dreams.
I think it’s not just important, but also fun to keep developing my skills. I will always keep following interesting masterclasses. In mosaic there are several masters I admire, such as Giulio Menossi and Dino Maccini. It can also be a language, or a course on art history. Recently I started attending a drawing course at the Arendonk art academy. It’s a brilliant art form that closely aligns with mosaic. Going deeper into observing, colouring and designing. There is always more to learn and I enjoy it.
My dreams are slowly becoming a reality. I am a happy person and a bit of a loner. I am not a follower, or susceptible to trends and fashion. I don’t easily get influenced by others, but plot my own course. That’s exactly what helped me to get as far as I have. I worked very hard, costing me blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes the idea played on my mind to quit everything, but I had a dream. And that dream got me to where I am today.
I still have lots of wishes and dreams. I feel the challenge of my art. I live it. I want more, better, freer.
My dream is an international solo exposition featuring the three pillars of my work: portraits, landscapes and my new abstract series. I would like to see mosaic as an art form being featured in the collections of museums. I want it to receive the recognition it deserves in the world of arts.
I would like to see the world through the eyes of a child. My dream is to continue realising my world, my mosaic world, with all the passion that brought me this far.