History

Menno began experimenting with different artistic media from a very young age. By the age of eight, Menno had begun to use watercolours. At about the same time, he was given the opportunity to demonstrate his artistic creativity in a competition organised by the Dutch embassy in Chile. For Menno, winning the first prize in this competition "was all the encouragement needed to pursue a lifelong fascination with colour and picture".

At 17, Menno was given another opportunity to exhibit his creativity when he was selected to represent his school in an international art competition. The students were asked to depict their impression of the French Revolution. Menno reflected the Revolution in a collage of colours and images from his collection of National Geographic magazines. The creative use of these images won Menno first place. But the real prize for Menno was not the recognition of his talent, but rather, the permission from his school to stop attending compulsory art lessons. 

In the following ten years, Menno’s family’s fondness for travelling helped nurture his appreciation for alternative forms of art and expression. His eyes were opened to the different art styles that he observed in museums and galleries throughout the world. In particular, Menno has been greatly influenced by Mexico. In fact, Menno’s favourite personal work so far is Tenochtitlan, inspired by his feelings for Mexico City.

Since his teenage years, Menno has continued to experiment with colours and textures by using wax, sea salt, seaweed, and methylated spirits amongst other media. Menno has developed his talent by experimenting with a variety of artistic materials and surfaces; from pencil on paper to oil and watercolour on canvas, and from acrylic paint on murals to dye on silk. A recurring theme in Menno’s history of art is his experimentation with different materials.

Menno has now focused more specifically on painting with dye on silk which he claims "enhances the vibrancy of the paintings, and more importantly makes every work unique". Menno adopted the use of dye on silk in 1990, when he realised its potential in exploiting light, colour and form. He has since continued to develop and specialise this craft, now his signature style.