Alida de Jong (1943) has been sculpting since 2005, when she started taking lessons from Marjo Wiltingh (Zepplinn) in Doornenburg. She is a member of the NABK and Kunstgilde Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
There is no distinction between form and content. The content goes hand in hand with the form. There is a hint of what it will become, kindled by a memory, a dream, a desire. That initial suspicion has little or no form, at most a concept or a theme.
And then comes the process, the struggle with the medium. With the chipping, polishing, filing it emerges. My experience is not that I am bringing forth something that already exists in the stone (as Michaelangelo is thought to have said). It seems more like having a conversation with the stone, searching, raging, silent, jolly, fumbling. Together we arrive in a place that I never could have imagined on my own.
With every rock a magical moment arrives when there’s a sense of unity. Then the feeling of working on a front or a back, a top or a bottom, gives way to the realisation that I am working on a new gestalt, a new form, an original story.
It may sound vague, but there is substantial clarity regarding the themes up to now. For quite a while (2006 - 2008) I only made birds - not realistic birds, but expressions of the movement, the energy of the bird. Subsequently (2009 - 2010) it was mostly women, their uncovered, unashamed, entire presence, their freedom.
The current motif is relations. Using mainly heads and hands in novel juxtapositions I continue to discover images which express some relation - the tension or excitement of proximity, or of separation, or frustration or love, always new stories about being human and of the encounters between people.
The most recent works deepens the relational theme by representing the experiences of refugees and relating them to our own situation.