‘Traces from times long past play an important role in the work of ceramist and photographer Ellen Spijkstra, who has lived in Curaçao since 1980. She attended the Minerva Academy of Fine Arts in Groningen (The Netherlands) and more or less stumbled into photography by accident after moving to the island.(…) As soon as she arrived in Curaçao, she became fascinated by the stones that were washed up on its beaches so weathered by the course of time. That process of erosion and damage, combined with the rhythmic play of structure and form, are the essential hallmarks of her visual language. In her photos it was the crumbling walls of Otrobanda, then still dilapidated, that she first captured on film. The ‘skin’ as the bearer of the ravages of time forms the link between the two disciplines she has embraced. (…) The impulse that Spijkstra has provided for the development of ceramics on the island is enormous. She began during the eighties by giving lessons. Since the early nineties she has been organizing workshops in her studio at Girouette. Ceramists of international renown (…) have been her guests. Some of her students (…) now work as independent visual artists.
Adi Martis & Jennifer Smit, Arte, Dutch Caribbean Art, 2002, Ian Randle publishers Jamaica / KIT publishers The Netherlands