Wil Wijchers, born in 1933 in Amsterdam, raised in “Het Gooi” and now living in Molenhoek (LB) Holland, is autodidact and started painting in 1993.|
The paintings of Wil Wijchers are remarkable.The ideas for most of her work originate from the Polynesian culture. Old traditional forms and cultural elements from the South Pacific Ocean gain a new reality and power of expression. Why the culture of people at the other site of the Ocean?
It is strange, but she has this interest since her youth. Her interest for travelling and especially for those people were hidden in her nature and became stronger as years passed by. She has been reading a lot and searched in- and for books. Always looking for new information. An unknown feeling to know more about the people and culture of the South Pacific Ocean.
She had never painted until she got sixty! She had five kids to raise and all of a sudden there was a second part of her life that brought unknown creative talents. A painting trip to Greece was the immediate cause. She was fascinated by the medium.
The breakthrough came in 1994. She made a dream come true and travelled to New Zealand (where she met Maori), Fiji and the Cook Islands. She lived and worked during six months with the people to whom she felt related. She spend four months on Taveuni, a very small island in Fiji. She was made part of a Fiji family. In this culture there is no difference between related family and others. You are part of this community. So she got the Chiefs Chain, that always has to stay in the family, to take home. These experiences made, together with a number of impressive meetings with the Maori, all hidden feelings come out. She had to put them on paper.
After she came back she kept doing it. Sometimes generous in design, but often in minute detail, as in the Maori moko’s. Here every line has a meaning: family connection, parents descent, district, tribe and profession. All these details are recorded and can not be changed. The way in which she portrays this, is her own reality and it shows her perception. She feels a strong connection with Maori and their culture is significant for most of her work.Two worlds, two families. She has made this feeling visible in her painting “Connections” in which she connects the two extremes in the 180 degrees of her world.Wil’s inner drive enables her to work hard and with pleasure.She calls this lifefulfillment.
Valued work, certainly by those who feel warmly about those people and their culture. The mystic of the primeval forms and the beautiful use of colour make her paintings universal.
There is also international interest. Maori Groups who performed in Holland visited her exhibitions and they were all impressed. They told her that her work belongs in New Zealand. An embrace in the arms of her own” family”.
In 2000 she went again to New Zealand and Fiji. She travelled during three months through New Zealand and renewed her contact with this wonderful country and the Maori. She wrote an article about this journey for the Travel Magazine “Down Under”.
But Wil makes also paintings about her other travels and since a few years she is busy sculpturing.
Her work can be found in private collections as well as in Bussiness Departments in Holland and other Countries and in the Dutch Embassy in New Zealand.