Eileen van Essen / Serious Mae is an artist and photographer based in Amsterdam. She studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. After a career of 10 years in photography and painting she pursued other avenues. After a lull of 25 years she picked up photography again.
“My pictures are mostly taken on impulse when a certain or sudden light fall seems to uncover some intrinsic, hidden meaning. In nature trees, limbs and shrubs then turn into protagonists who by their gesturing evoke some deep sensation of understanding or of being understood. It’s as if nature wants to communicate something very important about being alive and being human. Some ambivalent message that hovers in between loss and acceptance, resistance and hope, transcendence and redemption. It’s these emotions I want to capture, not mundane reality. Paradoxically of course, nature is as real as it gets. Exactly by being so, nature holds magic for us as humans. I feel the need to acknowledge this.”
Eileen also works as a therapist, love coach and astrologer. Serious Mae is her artists name.
|Present and future:|
|2024||Selected as artist in residency at ArteVentura Spain, April 2024|
|2023||Selected for publication in ‘The Garden of Dreams,’ Black Flower’s Publishing Spring Vol. II|
|2023||Selected for workshop Re-purposing and the artist book with RAYMOND MEEKS ar LA BABUCH, France in Oct.|
|1990||Graduate Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam (photography).|
|1990||Selection Unilever Art Collection.|
|1991||Post-graduate Masterclass Sandberg Institute.|
|1989-1992||Portret photography for Haagse Post magazine, Quote, Elsevier, Elegance and trade magazines. Published in Photography International, Foto Netherland and Pf Magazine.|
|1992||Member of the board of Photographers Association Gkf, Amsterdam. Responsible for visual arts and representative at the meeting with the Minister of Culture.|
|1990-1996||Several grants from Amsterdam City Council (project subsidies) and grant Werkbeurs from The Mondrian Foundation (for painting).|
|1990-1996||Group and sole expositions in Amsterdam & Rotterdam (Unilever) and group exhibition Santiago de Chili Museum of Modern Art.|
|1990-1996||Purchased for collections of City Council of Utrecht, City Council of Amsterdam, UGBI-Bank and private collections.|
|1994||Adviser for the Commission for the Stimulation of the Visual Arts of the Municipality of Utrecht and an advisory member of the Theater a/d Werf commission.|
|1994-1996||Founder and artistic director of project space D.O.C.Lands Amsterdam.|
|1997-2003||Creative strategist for TWBA/Campain Company, Saatchi & Saatchi, Design Company Keja Donia and Total Identity.|
|2001-2003||Co-owner Loerakker Gallery Amsterdam.|
|2003-2007||Owner Identity Doctor – Creative Strategy and Personal Branding.|
|Owner Piptherapie Pratice for psychotherapy.|
Owner Liefdesadviezen.com – Love Coach.
Owner Astrolovesage.com – Astrologer.
|2021-now||Working with photography and painting once more.|