Larisa Sjoerds is an artist, museum guide and visual arts teacher. As a visual artist her favorite medium currently is ink combined with all sorts of obvious media such as pencil, felt-tip pen, fine liners, ballpoint, acrylic paint and crayon, but also less obvious media such as silverleaf, salt and other substances which influence the ink’s consistency. Larisa’s drawings visualize abstracted human figures in a surreal world. Her drawings are literally inspired by shapes and patterns of cells in the human body and other fauna and flora, but never just a copy of those existing shapes and patterns.
Blueprints of subconsciousness, a sequel started in 2019, in shades of blue ink, are inspired by our subconsciousness. Her statement: “Our emotions and instincts can be very disturbing and intriguing. They influence and can even possess our lives. Somewhere deep down in our body a variety of processes is taking place. Such as the beating of a heart, an ovulation, impulsive thoughts to do with fear, sexual or violent actions. These mostly hidden processes, thoughts, emotions and instincts are what I want to or would like to visualize. The creative development of this visualization is partly rational and partly as organic and intuitive as the (dis)functioning of our brain and our body.
As a freelance museum guide and educational developer Larisa Sjoerds is using a variety of interactive mediating techniques for several art museums in The Netherlands. The objective is to encourage step-by-step dialogues while observing art individually or with a group and to become aware of our frames of reference. The use of language, drawing, poetry, performance and sound are part of the toolkit to exercise and expand visual literacy and the art of observation. This type of art mediation is part of an ongoing research by Sjoerds and is also on offer regularly as a training for teachers and museum guides. In her most recent educational projects for museums for secondary school students, facts and fiction around the terms value and appreciation are discussed in relation to art and visual culture in general. She also recently designed a hands-on drawing guide for (young) adult visitors of an art museum to be used self-guided or during a drawing tour.