Interview with the artist Quinda founder of Kunstruimte Crooswijk
Today you will learn a bit about Quinda the creator of Kunstruimte Crooswijk in 10 questions. Quinda is the founder of an accessible art space in one of the most beloved `volksbuurten´ in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Quinda started this beautiful example of a post studio art in 2019. The Post studio movement is the prevailing/avant garde movement in art at this momemt. Post Studio Practice is a method of art, where there is continuous and planned creation of art(activities) with underlying social or political motives (in this case social). Post studio artistic practices are meant to be experienced in a group. Yes, the whole Kunstruimte is equal parts art, social engagement and solving community issues such as accessibility. This is contemporary art. Without further ado, meet Quinda and learn more about the creation of Kunstruimte Crooswijk.
Quinda Verheul giving a presentation - photo from her website.
Who is Quinda Verheul?
My parents called me Quinda, no idea what it means, but I like it. I have a love for desolated landscapes such as mountains, ocean and sky. The landscape and how we treat that landscape, as well the way we behave as humans, plays an important role in my art. Next to making art, I practice ultra-racing by bike, something that gets me to experience the landscape to the fullest. And then in general I would say I am an enthusiast and see potential of developing several projects parallel to each other. So many ideas and then I even manage to do them all myself (laughing… hahaha). But really I enjoy to bring people together from different layers in society and enable better conditions in general for underrepresented communities in society and create awareness for our world and landscape. I believe strongly that art and culture is key in this process and hope to develop a strong organisation and collaborate worldwide to connect communities and ideas.
How did you start Kunstruimte Crooswijk?
While studying at Design Academy Eindhoven I was drawn to the Arts, but not sure how to implement that yet in my practice. After a long detour, where I was in Berlin for two and a half years, and travelled over the world, Morocco, Thailand, Singapore and Yogyakarta I ended up in Rotterdam. A new city for me, where Foundation B.a.d. became my new home and entrance to the arts. (Tascha: Foundation B.a.d – is an artist led initiative in Rotterdam, the Netherlands – in a decommissioned bath house. The acronym is a play on the Dutch word for bath “bad”. The foundation has been the artistsic home of many Rotterdam based artist.). I also worked on several social projects with Floor Ziegler (Tascha: a world renowned “stadmaker”, community builder) city where art and culture played an important factor in connecting people from different communities. Next to that I started teaching art in primary schools. All these things are now combined in one place. Just recently I found the WAY Foundation. The foundation is home to “Kunstruimte Crooswijk” and the artspace “82-84”. This summer we will host All you can Art, which is such an honour, knowing we just started. But also completely relevant knowing this way we really show our potential for the community and network.
Who are your role models?
I’d say first my mom and dad and how caring and warm-hearted they are. They always give the best of themselves and that probably. Also my partner Joergen, he is the kindest person.
Then I envy Davey Davis, the kindest, smartest most beautiful person, works for Utah Film centre and is Joergens best friend. Also I would like to mention Kamiel Verschuren and Karin Arink together with the rest of the B.a.d. community. But Kamiel in general because he is always ready to help everyone out, for the strangest reasons. He really picks you up from the ground and cares for you.
Artist I admire are; James Turrell, Richard Serra, Olafur Eliasson and Richard Long are artist, whose work is beyond…
Tascha: You can really see the way Richard Serra's art installations with earth, stone and bronze has influenced Quinda's installation: The Future is Black.
Quinda Verheul - The Future is Black Installation.
What inspires you?
This could be anything, landscape, articles, colors and good conversations. Exchanging ideas with other creates new connections in the brain and creates new insights.
Tascha: Talking and sharing ideas is one of the most important part of innovation.
Please tell us about Kunstruimte Crooswijk.
Just recently I found the WAY Foundation. The foundation is home to “Kunstruimte Crooswijk” a space for the community of Crooswijk. Where we try to create an easy accessible gateway to art and culture. A program for young and old, both art-lovers and total newbies. A place where we will learn from each other by exchanging thoughts and by working together.
Tascha: Quinda created a space, where people can grow as well as connect through a shared project and space.
What’s your most memorable experience?
This was the most difficult question, but decided on the Atlas Mountain Race 2020.
Tascha: This is a very difficult mountain bike race over the Atlas Mountains in Morrokko. This challenging race, really checks all boxes for Quinda, as it is a harsh and sublimely beautiful route. Luckily it took place in February, before the spread and lockdown, because of COvid-19.
What’s your greatest fear?
I’d say in general I hardly experience fear. If I would let fear in, it would block whatever I’m doing, so instead I look for possibilities and try to handle every situation with a good portion of humour and flexibility.
Tascha: This is wise advice for all of us.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
There is always a first for anything. I underestimated the behind the scenes organisations. Before you have a well up and running organisation you are one year further. Your network has to grow. This is important is both my art practice and the social projects I’m running.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I try to implement many moments to reflect and keep a good eye on what strategy fits with the situation. That’s been challenging, especially in this face where everything still is in process. My goal is to create an healthy and sustainable platform.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
First, allow the emotions of disappointment. After you have to get back at it and set a new strategy. Flexibility and humour is key in difficult situations, eventually you have to put things in perspective. “Would the world be affected is a terrible way?”
Quinda has worked with industry leaders when it comes to community building, she has a design background and has a healthy love for the outdoors. More importantly, Quinda has a strong social network and takes the time to emotionally process the ups and downs that comes with life. Kunstruimte Crooswijk has a host of activities you can partake in during the quarantine through their lovely videos. They are also collecting tropical plants to create a jungle room withing Kunstruimte Crooswijk. So go over there and learn to make some glue or support them in creating a tropical jungle room, by sending your plants. They also have a wide variety of workshops on location for when COVID -19 quarantine has passed. If you want to read more about post studio art and practices Maaike Lauwaert wrote an academic article on the topic. Or read our take one the homepage when you scroll down. Contemporary art, in the last ten years, has been about social and political engagement to better society. Making art has never been about being perfectly copying nature. It has always been about creating a better version of reality than what is now. Quinda is building a stronger community, with art and social practices.
We loved learning about the journey Quinda has been on, to create this beautiful art space in Rotterdam. We wish her years of sustainable and community development! Learn about the art spaces in The Netherlands every week. We have been reaching out to our gallery peers. Let us know if you want to partake in our interviews :)
A very inquisitive Art Historian and Anthropologist.