Jeannet Leendertse

I grew up on the coast in the province of Zeeland [Sea-land], and discovering The Blue Hill Peninsula of Maine felt in many ways like coming home. Even though the landscape is different, the smells, sounds, and wildlife are familiar. As I started spending large parts of the year in this incredible area, my work evolved to echo its ancient landscape and marine life.

As an immigrant, my Dutch culture and heritage are always with me, while I continue to make this new environment my home. Adaptation and reflection are ongoing. My creative process brings these outer and inner worlds together.

As a craftsperson, I feel a strong responsibility to consider my materials, and what my creative process will leave behind. I now forage seaweed—in particular Rockweed—to make vessels. I discovered the amazing benefits this natural resource provides. Seaweed not only creates a habitat for countless species; it captures carbon, deacidifies the ocean, and protects our shoreline as sea levels are rising. Communicating the importance of protecting this underwater forest is integral to my practice.

As my work evolves out of coastal impressions and material experimentation, it takes on a new life when moved out of the studio and placed back in its natural environment. It is this feedback that keeps me going.

More on her website:   Jeannet Leendertse

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