Interview with Onno Dröge
The art of Onno Dröge is an ode to femininity. In his work, the admiration for women is reflected. There is no lack of the erotic. Lust, love and desire are his main themes.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
I'm the 3rd child out of five. Our parents have been emotionally challenged as we almost all brought along a period of worries. I myself for exemple got seriously stuck at birth and had an accident at the age of 9 through which I got into a coma. I came out of it three weeks later and had to learn how to speak and walk again. I don't know which of the two situations made that I could not be a great student such as my brothers and sisters. I was smart, but to slow to keep up with the standards of others. Already as a child I loved to build sculptures with sand, blocks, meccano, LEGO and clay. My personal interest in art came to blossom during the many holidays I spent with my family in beautiful places in south Mediterranean countries as France, Italy, Marocco and Jordan. I was, and am still, attracted by the bluishness of the see together with the rough, stoney and sandy landscape.You can imagine that in this perspective I got enormously impressed by the City of Petra, due to its superb colours and to its austerious templesculptures in the rough rocks. This is how I became, as an adolescent, fond of the contrast 'soft, round versus rough'. As a young adult I worked at a bank where it was tough to keep up with the expectations.
When my mother was diagnosed with the disease MS, I realised that life is short and so I decided to inscribe for evening studies for art at Stadsacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Maastricht. During studies and after my degree in 1992 there were some life changing moments: I met my partner, got fired at the bank and temped a while before starting my own little art school for children and adults, had my first exhibitions with clay objects, became a father of two children and got two teaching degrees in art (one for primar school and one for middle school). Let's say, it was a process of going home to my heart and to my skills.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
My soul is strongly inclined to softness and roundness, to fluent lines and shapes, to space in and around my objects. In my objects I like to refer to the spirit world and to the heavenly atmosphere, represented through the fluent shapes, the presence of shadow and the colours.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From landscapes, the cities and villages, food, fashion, architecture, the coast, creative people, musea and other artists. When I get inspired (or looking for inspirement) I like to first draw for hours in a drawing copy-book.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
Through the shapes I hope to translate love, affection, the earthly and spiritual life, mystic. Because life is a kind of puzzle of many situations, conditions, experiences and feelings. I hope to bring the viewer closer to his/her own (spiritual) heart.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
After a period of devotion the object 'tells' you when it is ready: it might fit the drawings or it might ask much less or much more than that. I like to renew and develop myself, new ideas come and go. Sometimes I abandon an object temporarely because a new shape is pushing itself to strongly forward. Therefor I am often working on several shapes simultaneously. The abandoned shape might profit from it later.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Everything that has happened and is happening, apart and together, has its value. Therefor I cannot mention one specific moment of excitement. If I force myself I would say my first exhibition in Geleen after graduation?
How long does it take to produce one work?
6 months in general.
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
Till may 2018 my current artworks are digitally shown by Galerie Trossaert in Antwerp, Belgium. From monday the 8 of january till half of february I will stand in for a teacher at a middle school in Venray as this person will travel around the world.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I am preparing myself for a new exhibition in may 2018 with 25 new objects, also at Galerie Trossaert.
Where do you see your art going in five years?
I am certain that the wooden sculptures will come loose off their backgrounds. Maybe I will use other material than wood? Back to clay? At the moment I have no idea about the future. I am convinced it will reveal its plans to me in time.