Biografie - Samantha Thole


Photo: Jan de Bruin

Samantha Thole (Utrecht, 1982) completed her training as an artist at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht in 2008, followed by Master of Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She has spent several periods as an artist in residence at the EKWC ceramics institute in ’s-Hertogenbosch and Oisterwijk. Ceramics has been her favourite material since her first residency at that institute, although she does not consider herself to be a ceramist.

She feels at home in museums, and her frame of reference includes both contemporary art and the Roman and Greek classical context. She also has a penchant for the archaeology of antiquity and the Middle ages. The act of making and the mastery of the material are extremely important to her. She combines the personal and the intimate with notions of social convictions and references to the philosophical and the sublime. She observes and reinvents, taking in every last impression and bringing it all together at the time it is needed. Her work is captured by the following keywords: storytelling, fusing, merging, metamorphosis, archaic, anthropomorphic.

Samantha Thole is fascinated by research and by exploring new technical possibilities. One such example is her experiments with 3D-printing in clay, a truly 21st-century craft. In this initiative by the We_are_vessels international collective, which she co-founded, the artist collaborates with ceramics specialists on a product. Together with an Italian technician and a researcher, she also creates combinations of archaeological and natural history objects that form a new work when scanned in 3D.

Her work is in several private and museum collections. She is the second living artist whose work has been included in the collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.

Artist statement