Anita Darowska Blok
My name is Anita Darowska-Blok, I am a self-taught collage artist of Polish origine, living most of my life in Amsterdam and the surroundings. I started making analog collages 28 years ago, some time after moving to the Netherlands. It arose from the need to express the emotions of isolation, emigration, getting to know the new world in a way other than words alone. For the first two or three years, next to writing letters, I made collage books, which I gifted to a friend once a year, she still has them.
Besides my various day jobs (translating, library, counseling person with Autism a.o.), I always volunteered (with refugees, homelessness crisis problem, in anti-racist organizations etc.). Making collages helped me deal with the harshness of life.
Ten years ago I fell ill with chronic fatigue/ME & fibromyalgia, had to stop working, picked up gardening and started learning new languages (I speak several) and in the last few years, encouraged by a friend, I started sharing my collages with the wider public.
My work is often very intuitive, I have a main idea of how I want the collage to turn out and I let the imagination take over, without thinking too much about the process. Something inspires me, it can be an image or a color or a structure and I build my work around that object, playing with different shapes, pieces, color combinations/derivations. When the collage is done, I feel it inside me. Currently, I use a lot of vintage photos in my works (mainly women) and images of fauna and flora. I love works by Man Ray or Frida Kahlo, Dada and surrealist movement but I also find inspiration in chaotic beauty of punk. I like to use book pages, typography or unusual materials in my collages. I am fascinated with symmetry and have created many hybrid creatures that came from the depths of my psyche. Nowadays, I work digital and analog and I am learning every day. My biggest muse in creating the art are the Cats, hence my instagram handle @anitameowart.