The Heroine’s Journey of Mireille Schermer

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

The magic of new ideas being born. I love the coaching part in my profession as a lecturer; brainstorming with students to work out new ideas, transforming them into concepts. As an artist this part is also the best and most interesting.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Working in a flow where everything connects and synchronicity is everywhere. Forgetting about time and feeling completely connected with nature. Creating ‘Nature Works’ in the broadest sense; paintings or installations out of trunks, sticks, roots or whatever crosses my path… But also collecting herbs, berries, seeds and transforming them into medical ointments, creams, tea or oils.

What is my greatest fear?

To die young and not be ready. I have so many ideas I would love to realize and adventures to share with my loved ones. I feel I just got started! Most of the time I feel fearless and I am happy with that…

What do I like best in my work?

The ‘playing outside’ and experimenting with natural materials that I have found… Developing new artworks, installations, and expose them in a natural environment. I love to see how my work communicates with the environment or even blends in with it. The idea of artworks transforming, becoming part of nature again is interesting to me. It is also a lesson in letting go.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I am bad at letting go…

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I really admire Andy Goldsworthy, who seems to play outside every day as if he is a child still. That is the ‘spirit’; discover something new every day and be amazed…Most of all I admire his perseverance.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I love to buy books although it can take years for me to find the time to read them.

On what occasion would I lie?

I prefer not to lie.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I really don’t like administration or endless meetings.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

On different moments and places but especially when working outside in the forest next to our studio.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Nothing; I am in the accepting phase

What is my greatest achievement in work?

There are a few; after 25 years of being a lecturer I still feel enthusiastic about teaching and coaching. That is one of my achievements, I guess. Another achievement is my concept for a sustainable installation ‘Bee Good’ for the Circular Change Conference 2018 in Slovenia, that was chosen to become realized and eventually stayed in the sculpture park at Art Museum Bozidar Jakac for three months. What I liked best was the fact that the gardeners had been mowing around my installation, leaving a flower circle for the bees underneath it.

Where would I most like to live?

In nature although I already work in nature the majority of time. Half of my time I live in a tiny forest house, my studio is located in a huge wild garden and I teach at European Fashion Business School, located in a wonderful forest. I also love to travel and get inspired by creating ‘site specific’ work. This teaches me a lot about the landscape.

What is my most treasured possession?

This is a difficult question… I own a lot of stuff with just personal value like things from my father and grandmother, who do not live anymore. Also found treasures from nature. Beautiful memories from journeys. But I would pick Sonja, my monkey, that was always with me when I was a kid.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I use to go from the beaten track. I am really curious and willing to take risks.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My garden, the dunes and the forest.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Nepalese restaurant Annapurna

What books influenced my life and how?

I am really impressed by Homo Deus. This book proves to me we have to become conscious of the fact we let ourselves be ruled instead of living our lives the way we want it. This book really is a wakeup call… I read ‘The shack’ many years ago and was touched by this story about a God for all of us, and about forgiveness in the broadest sense. Forgiveness is the key. The fifth agreement of Don Miguel and Don Jose Ruiz. It contains a lot of wisdom and I pick it up once in a while.

Who are my favorite writers?

John Irving, who creates complete new worlds. Gabriel Garcia Marquez who does the same.

I love Latin America and Latin American literature. The books of Alessandro Baricco are also real gems because to me they all contain life lessons and are poetic and surrealistic at the same time. And I love the poems of Sabine van den Berg.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Mexicans ‘Son Huasteco; music played at funerals and weddings. This music goes straight to my heart and I can not always listen to it because it is so intense and emotional. A bit of salsa from Colombia and some powerful bluesrock songs. Bob Marley and my favorite popsong “Dance hall days’ by Wang Chung, and to finish the list I would pick some beautiful calming shamanisticicarosto prepare me for my journey.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Pippi Longstocking because of her quote ‘I have never done this so I think I can’.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My partner Cor, always open for something new, my friend and multi talent Sabine van den Berg, my colleague and friend Jet Noever, with whom I develop lessons and projects for our students for many years and who is driven by passion like I am, and my friend Monique Koetsier, always buzzing with ideas and now working on her own slow fashion brand. And Saskia Nieboer from the Groene Zon, my super inspiring herbal teacher.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

‘Down to earth’. Not because the romantic story of a family travelling the world but because of the clear analysis and advices of the shamans in this movie. Their messages are very true and inspiring to me. Samsara’ is a beautiful movie. All movies made by my favorite director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

What role plays art in my life and work?

A major role. How art reflects the zeitgeist is an important ingredient for the lessons for my students. I love visiting museums and exhibitions. And I make art myself, so my life is full of art.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My partner Cor, who supports and encourages me, and travels everywhere with me to install the artworks.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

With my colleagues and friends from the art collective IMIX, Marion Albers, Gemma Distelbrink en Garrie Oomkens. We have some great plans for 2019…

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?

I love to meet people and I like surprises so no one in particular. See what comes my way.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

To the IMIX open studio garden weekends planned for 2019. We will have one every season in style with nature because IMIX connects art to nature. The first one is planned for the 19th and 20th January 2019. Be welcome!

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

In the group exhibitions in the garden of our studio garden and probably on more occasions yet to come. Follow me on www.mireilleschermer.nl or https://www.instagram.com/mireilleschermer/

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

The wonderful perspective of still creating artworks at the age of, lets say, 95 years old!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Monique Koetsier

How can you contact me?

Follow me on www.mireilleschermer.nl or https://www.instagram.com/mireilleschermer/

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