Suzanne Bernhardt (The Netherlands, 1988) is the first artist in residence for 2019 at Tembe Art Studio/Kibii Foundation in Moengo, Marowijne, Suriname. Her residency takes place within the framework of the Mondriaan Fund supported ‘artist-in residence program’ from the Kibii Foundation. In the past 10 years, 25 visual artists have participated in this program.
Bernhardt arrived on January 5, 2019 in Suriname for a work period of three months and is now teaching classes at Tembe Art Studio and in the surrounding villages. Currently she is researching and experimenting with clay that is found in the proximity of Moengo. The artist will then create a work of art together with the local community, inspired by the surroundings.
One of the underlying thoughts of Suzanne Bernhardt is that Moengo is known for its past in mining. Everywhere you go in Moengo you will find a reminder of this past: in the architecture, in the infrastructure and in the stories of the people. When we look at the ground beneath our feet: what makes us feel connected to this soil?
Bernhardt: “Working with clay is a slow process. Finding, processing, drying and baking takes time, but in the end you have a very durable product. This is in stark contrast to the global acceleration of the world around us. I am inspired by stories and objects from indigenous people of Suriname who have been working with clay for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. The soil under our feet is something that connects us as people.”♦