Karin van Aken
In September 2024, an exhibition by the visual artist Karin van Aken (1971) from Cuijk will be shown again at Kerkje de Rietstap, Meniststraat 14A in Dinxperlo. Karin was given the honor of exhibiting here five years ago – in October 2019 – and she is very pleased to be able to show her work in her home region again.
During the past five years, Karin has continued to pursue her chosen path. Creating art remains a basic need in her life, although she began to work even more with her heart and soul. That may sound a bit crazy, but nothing describes reality better. Karin is a woman who has both feet in life. Next month she will be able to look back on 30 years of teaching, the last 15 of which were in a school for children and young people with mental disorders. She is a mentor to a group of senior students and a trainer for trauma-sensitive pedagogy. Learning doesn’t just mean improving cognitive skills. According to Karin, learning is so much more than that. She thinks it’s fantastic that she can help at-risk young people create the art of living. That’s what she thinks it’s all about.
“You live, you learn” (Alanis Morisette) is a motto that Karin emphatically subscribes, mostly in situations that are not really the easiest. For example, her sister died completely unexpectedly in 2020 at the age of 51. Even the description that this had a major impact on Karin and those around her is an understatement. It was a real disaster! On the other hand, Karin still feels close to her sister, and this is shown in her work.
Apart from the fact that her work is still about balance (falling and getting up again) and making visible what is allowed to be visible from within, it is above all a way to be and stay very close to yourself. Her art is almost seamlessly synchronized with developments in her life and in the world. It remains something special for her that her works, no matter how different they are, from her first to her latest one, always bear her signature as their creator.
Karin was regularly asked where she got her talent for sculpture from. She had no idea until her father (1941) picked up a file during a rehabilitation process and conjured up the cutest animals. The mystery was solved.
In addition to sculpting, Karin also writes poetry. Both arts met “by chance” five years ago. There are now works of art from which a poem has emerged and poems as the basis of a work of art. This development is also visible in the exhibition.
One day there will be a mixture of both arts, but Karin doesn’t know when that will be. “Everything comes in its time, for those who can wait,” someone told her a long time ago. She likes to be surprised!