Hanneke van Ryswyk

Hanneke van Ryswyk


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. After graduating, van Ryswyk worked in textiles and ecological fashion. In 2011 she returned to her art and moved to Bunclody. 

Hanneke has held four Irish solo exhibitions since moving to Bunclody. In 2013, Hanneke was awarded a residency by Coracle at Kultivera, Tranås, Sweden. She has also been awarded residencies at Cill Rialaig artist's retreat, County Kerry 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 most recent solo exhibition was a huge success and was reviewed by the Sunday Times arts critic John P. O'Sullivan 

“These small, mysterious, and alluring paintings are abstract explorations of the effect of weather and climate change on the surface of the earth. The chilly images are more icescapes than landscapes. The frozen world she invokes has a post-apocalyptic feel to it. Icy shapes writhe like monsters enveloping the blasted land. The amorphous shifting terrain shows no signs of human involvement.” 

John P. O’Sullivan, © The Sunday Times, Culture Magazine - Irish Edition. May 11th 2014.  [p. 29]

Before Hanneke commences painting, she 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.
Hanneke'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.

Hanneke's 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, Hanneke's 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. 


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Location Wexford
Activities Practice-based research, Residencies, Workshops, Private commissions
Artforms / type of project Drawing, Environment, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking
Tags glaciers, global warming, sourced pigment, soot drawings, melting glaciers, drawing, environmental, climate change