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living art

Life Walks

Interview with Bernadette Vieverich
Janneke Meijer, Randmeer, August 2020

‘The urge to create, combined with a heartfelt desire to give meaning to my own life and to the lives of others, has led to the Life Walks project.’

My approach
The Life Walks come into being on the intersection of image and language. Everything converges on a landscape canvas of 80 × 20 cm.

I always start with a personal conversation based on a short questionnaire. During the interview I create a mind map consisting of images, colours and text. This will be the starting point for the Life Walk painting.

I paint colourful images that represent this person’s life up to that point: the events, the direction, the energy. The horizon is the hallmark of my work, symbolising the dividing line between a person’s inner and outer world. It’s also a way of visualising a Life Walk as a timeline.

Painting and philosophy
A few years ago I had an exhibition at Galerie Amstel 41 in Amsterdam, which included three big canvases of 180 × 180 cm titled past, present, and future. They depict my own life walk.

In 2018 I took up studying philosophy, discovering the US philosopher Martha Nussbaum on the way. She links thinking and feeling. The society we live in tends to separate the two, but according to Nussbaum they are inseparable. My favourite quotation from her work: ‘Emotions are sensitive thoughts.’

Can I describe myself in terms of colour? Red and yellow come to mind immediately. Red is the colour of love, anger, grief, and the emotions surrounding love. Yellow symbolises warmth, sunshine, my youth on Curaçao. Both red and yellow are in practically all of my paintings.

Source of inspiration
My mother was my most important teacher. I inherited my creativity from her. She died when I was seventeen years old, but her gentle spirit and unconditional love are still guiding me. Thinking of my mother often reminds me of the famous lines by Alfred Lord Tennyson:
It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

If you would like more information on the creative process, prices, etc. for a Life Walk or a painting, please fill out the contact form and I will contact you within a week.



Claire on her Life Walk: ‘Bernadette heard, saw, and painted the heart of my existence. The painting is on my bedroom wall and whenever I need it, I can drink in the power, comfort and hope I see in it.’


Marjan: ‘I loved the opportunity to take the time to think about my life and the things that matter to me.’


Mathilde: ‘It shows me where my power resides and it makes me proud.’



Wandana: ‘The beauty of the idea is that you get to know yourself better. (...) I think this would be something very special to give to someone else, too.’