Sonja Landweer


b. 1933, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sonja Landweer, the internationally celebrated Dutch artist, was born in Amsterdam in 1933. In 1952, she studied ceramics at the Amsterdam School of Industrial Design, the Rietveld Academie. She evolved a batiked-ceramic technique in the early 1960s before moving to Ireland where she has lived for over forty years. She first came to teach at the Kilkenny Design Workshops where she was Artist-in Residence. The unique Irish landscape had magical resonances for her and became her home, offering endless inspiration. Sonja held her third solo exhibition at the Peppercanister Gallery in January 2006.

Landweer is a world class artist with astonishing skill, versatility and talent. In recent times she has revolutionised bronze casting by developing unique patinations for her subtle forms. Sonja’s lifelong interest in the natural world has informed much of her work, in her organic seed and plant forms and circular vessels, and in the stunning colours and textures she utilises, evocative of those found in nature. She has inspired a generation of young Irish artists such as ceramicist Deirdre McLoughlin who has gone abroad and achieved stardom.

Sonja’s work has also moved in other directions such as drawing, painting, print-making and contemporary jewellery. Her low-toned monotype paintings capture the pantheistic progress of the natural world in Ireland with a rare insight and affection.

Since 1981 she has been a member of Aosdana, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.

She continues to exhibit widely and is represented in major public and private art collections from Kyoto to Amsterdam. The Ulster Museum has featured her prominently in the Permanent Collection, since her exhibitions at the Hendriks Gallery in Dublin in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Her work is held in private and public collections worldwide. Since living in Ireland, her solo exhibitions include David Hendriks Gallery, Dublin; Kapelhuis, Amersfoort; Galerie In-Art, Amsterdam; Taylor Galleries, Dublin; Museum of Decorative Arts, Copenhagen; Hildesheim Stadtisches Museum, West Germany Ulster Museum (1990); Rudolf Heltzel, Kilkenny; Gallery Brigitta Moser, Zurich; Kilkenny Arts Week; Galerie Tactus Kopenhafen; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Holland; Grimmerhus, Denmark; Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin and Butler Gallery, Kilkenny. Group shows include Frennale Zagiele and she was an invited artist for RHA shows in 2002, 2004 2005 and 2006. She has won numerous awards, including the Verzetsprijs in Holland (1964), the prix artistique at the Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d’Art, Vallauris, France (1974) and the 1992 honorary award from NCAD. Since 2001 she has been casting her ceramic forms in bronze. She lives in Co. Kilkenny.