A post by Peter Jordens.
Norva Sling (1947) is a famous visual artist from Curaçao, where she and her husband used to receive many visitors and customers from all over the world in their sculpture garden. This garden became a centerpiece of cultural life in Curaçao. She held exhibitions in all local museums and in several other countries. Her Afro-Caribbean sculptures received praiseful reviews.
In 1993, after she and her husband broke up, she came to the Netherlands together with her four daughters […]. To her, the tragedy felt like an emotional amputation. In Steggerda, a town in the northern province of Friesland, she tried to start a new life, far from the sun-drenched pain. In Steggerda, Norva Sling blossomed again. She explains: “From the clay of Steggerda I kneaded a new life; out of the tragedy I was reborn, matured and refined. I was able once again to give shape to the continuity of life and my daughters. They called me the Black Pearl of Steggerda.” She became friends with fellow sculptor Guus Hellegers, who allowed her to use his art studio. Her creative powers came to full bloom again. “As a black Antillean family in a white town, we were very well received,” she says. […]
After her daughters left her warm nest in 2009, Sling felt homesick and returned to her island of birth. The Extra daily newspaper dedicated a full-page article to her return, with pictures of Norva in her royal African gowns and ingenious headwraps, along with her sculptures. Nevertheless, in 2015 Norva decided to return definitely to the Netherlands. For mother Norva, the distant call of her daughters was stronger than the lure of a prolonged stay on the island where she and her daughters were rooted. Her new base is now Amsterdam.
The creative work of Norva Sling has not remained unnoticed. Jan Teeuwisse, Director of Museum aan de Zee in Scheveningen (The Hague), invited her to exhibit her work. […] Under the name Shapes of Love, [thirty of her sculptures] are being exhibited. Together with the release of her biography, this is the crown on her extensive body of work.
For the complete, original article (in Dutch), go to https://www.stellingwerf.nl/nieuws/kleine-dorpen/515247/zwarte-parel-van-steggerda-exposeert-in-museum-beelden-aan-zee.html
From the Museum’s website:
Sling summarizes her work and her spirit with these fitting words: “As an artist, I am especially inspired by nature: her cycle of birth and death. I like working with curves, smoothened convex and concave shapes, kneaded from cool damp clay.” Her work is strongly associated with tropical art. Her loving creations of the female figure are the embodiment of Norva’s spiritual mindset and provide insight into her culture.
Sculpture Exhibition: Vormen van Liefde [Shapes of Love]
by Norva Sling
Until January 7, 2018
Museum Beelden aan de Zee
2586 EL The Hague, Netherlands