The Dutch Mother and Daughter Launch a New Series Exploring Hereditary Talent
“I think you’re born with it,” says illustrator Pieke Stuvel to her daughter, the leading model Anna de Rijk, on how creativity runs through the family. In the first instalment of our new series, Genealogy, NOWNESS regular Leigh Johnson captures the effervescent energy of their relationship at the family’s pop-infused home in Overveen, a small town in North Holland. Since establishing herself in the art world with abstract, free-flowing illustrations for the likes of French and Dutch Elle, Stuvel has watched her daughter’s career flourish as the face of Prada, Vera Wang and Sonia Rykiel. “Until I was 14, I wrote poetry, joined drawing clubs and made miniature houses,” says de Rijk, a frequent muse of Viviane Sassen. “Then slowly I started to rediscover these passions during my travels and time alone working as a model.” Stuvel, who is currently penning a new book on DIY fashion, adds, “what we all have in common is the need to express ourselves.” Here, the mother-and-daughter reveal their artistic pursuits, family philosophy, and lesser-known talents.
Preferred medium: Anna de Rijk: Video, or ink and paper. Pieke Stuvel: Drawing.
Current project: ADR: A series of performance videos. I’m into physical theatre and dance; modeling maybe feeds into that. PS: A new book on how to make easy clothes and recycling tips, designing a wall hanging and cushions for Capsicum/Amsterdam as well as painting pottery.
Motto: ADR: I've always felt motto-less. I think we were brought up pretty free. My parents are very inspiring in many ways, but mostly in how they always passionately follow their own interests and create their own work. PS: Count your blessings.
Best thing you’ve seen lately–not your own: ADR: The short movie La Jetée from Chris Marker. PS: A dance movie I just saw on TV, Deep End Dance, by David Bolger.
Hidden talent: ADR: Daydreaming. I also seem to have a talent for chaos. PS: Not so very hidden, but we all long every now and then to be on our own. It's not particularly a talent, but I think that time alone feeds our talents.
Household staple: ADR: My mum always makes a pick ’n’ mix–she throws things together without a recipe and it always tastes really nice. A lot of garlic, and a lot of olive oil. PS: Books by William Steig, Arnold Loebel, Annie M.G. Schmidt and Roald Dahl.
What’s next? ADR: Living in New York! I haven't been there for a year, so going to spend the whole summer there. And, creatively, this summer I've been feeling like portraying people around me; registering momentary contact and intimacy in video, and ink, and on paper. PS: Working until autumn; after that maybe a cycling tour somewhere in Holland with Anna's father Martijn.