Hanneke Van Ryswyk

About: Welsh born artist Hanneke van Ryswyk grew up in the Netherlands and returned to Wales in 1998. She graduated from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea in 2006 and subsequently worked in textiles and ecological fashion. In 2011 she returned to fine art and moved to Ireland. 

Hanneke was awarded a residency by Coracle at Kultivera, Tranås, Sweden. She has also been awarded residencies at Cill Rialaig and has attended residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, County Monaghan. In 2014 she was awarded a Visual Arts Bursary by Artlinks. Her work can be found in the Office of Public Works collection and she is a featured artist on The Drawing Suite. Her solo exhibition 'Residues of Time' was reviewed by the Sunday Times arts critic John P. O'Sullivan 


Process:  Hanneke Van Ryswyk prepares her boards and wood panels using traditional gesso. Gesso is a white primer consisting of rabbit-skin glue mixed with whiting (chalk). Gesso is used to coat wooden panels, boards and canvas to give a smooth surface to paint on. The preparation for traditional gesso takes time, the process involves dissolving the Rabbit skin glue in water in order to size wooden panels. Next, whiting is added to the rabbit skin glue stirring it until it is of a creamy consistency. The mixture is now ready to apply to the panels in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next. Each layer of gesso requires a light sanding between coats to achieve the smooth surface desired. Hanneke repeated this process four times for her paintings. 'The bright gesso surface is wonderful to work on and helps give my colours their luminosity', says van Ryswyk.

Van Ryswyk’s latest paintings were made at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan where she was inspired by the nearby lake, drumlins and constantly shifting skies. Up until now Hanneke's work has been influenced by climate change and the aftermath of melting glaciers. Hanneke visits locations in Ireland to witness for herself the formations glaciers have made in the land.

Her abstract paintings are small, delicate and atmospheric with suggestions of clouds, islands, mountains and subtle shifts of light from early morning to dusk. Like her priming, The painting process involves working in numerous thin layers, using pigment bound with co-polymer. Her paintings have intricate textures from repeated sanding and scoring of the surface and are illuminated with gentle colour from jade greens to pinks. Her subject matter is imaginative, the works are still and infused with memory.