Ester van Zuylen
Born in The Hague, Netherlands. 1951.
Since 2004 I live in Greece, on the Ionian island of Ithaki. Part of my childhood was spent in North and South America and Asia. This had an influence on my work.

I studied to become an art teacher and graduated in 1975. Teaching art (handicrafts and drawing) at schools and art-centres took up most of my time. Later I felt the need to expand my possibilities. I did additional courses in figure and portrait drawing, clay sculpture and silkscreen printing. Then I started to paint with oils and acrylics, and had my first exhibitions.

Living on this island, surrounded by nature, is my biggest inspiration. What also interests me is the symbolic and spiritual aspect of art from every part of the world and of all times. By using symbolic images I try to find the connection between cultures, past and present, universal and individual symbolism. Mythical archetypes, animals and forces of nature are my subjects.

When I first came to Ithaki I painted images from folklore, nature and history on rounded pebbles. I also made hanging sculptures from natural materials that I found during my walks. My fascination with geometry and light resulted in a few small mandala-like paintings. Lately my attention has been drawn to icons, and the role they play in present and past Greek religion. Next to organising walking tours and painting, I design and make signs for many purposes.




The Netherlands

Finished studies at Academy For Art Education in Amersfoort, the Netherlands
1977 - 1978
Followed courses at Open Art Academy, The Hague, the Netherlands
1975 - 1993
Taught art at schools, courses and art-centres to children and adults.
1985 - 1987
Followed courses in portrait and figure drawing, sculpture and silk-screen printing.
Exhibition of silkscreen prints and gouaches at community centre.
Group exhibition in own studio. Acrylic and oil paintings, sculptures of paper-mache.
One sculpture at art fair.
Exhibition in own studio of paintings and objects.
Exhibition of paintings and objects in Town Hall, Amersfoort.
Exhibition of paintings and objects in DHV buildings, an international consultancy and engineering group.
Exhibition of paintings in Cafe Vyssotski, Amersfoort.
Exhibition of pastels, paintings and prints in Art Society, Soest.

Ithaca, Greece

12-26 april 2009
Exhibition of paintings and drawings in Ores Gallery, Vathi.
13-31 aug 2012
Exhibition of paintings and drawings in Community Centre, Stavros.
1-30 june 2014
Exhibition of paintings and objects in garden, Stavros.
These works were made with materials I found during my walks around Ithaki. The various elements are weathered and shaped by the sea and by time. In the way I treat them and join them together they become objects with a new meaning; symbols or signs, idols or icons.
14 june - 4 july 2015
Exhibition of paintings and objects in Yefuri, Platreithias.
16-30 august 2015
Exhibition of paintings and objects in Art Gallery Vali, Vathi.