It was a warm summer’s day in Maastricht on the seventh of September in 1991. Renee Verwey was browsing at the local antique market with her son Lucas Bekker, when her water broke. After the son was dropped off by the neighbours and her husband Willem Bekker came home, it was a quick and wild ride, but during Klokhuis around seven o’clock, Leana Neeltje Lauri Bekker was born. Time went fast and Leana went to high school and got her HAVO diploma. She took a risk and went for the culture direction without being certain about her choice and studied Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam. She finished her bachelor, however wasn’t satisfied yet. She wanted to create more, yet still use research and entrepreneurship as important elements and then she found iArts. This is the very short version in the text below I try to give you an insight on how I got to this point in my life.
History is a subject that I have found fascinating since I was a child. It helped me understand why certain events happened, made me wonder about different ages and how people lived long before my time. I could fantasize about living in the Middle Ages and dwelling through great castles or being taught by famous poets in the 18th century. That is why I loved going to museums or archaeological sites. This fascination became a sort of stepping stone for oncoming years. When I was in high school, I didn’t have a clear view on what study I could follow after I graduated, so I looked for help and asked the school’s dean. After a long talk we concluded that there were two options for me, if I wanted to study some form of history. A study to become a history teacher or a study that focusses on cultural heritage. The added advantage of studying cultural heritage was that besides history, I would also learn more about managing museums, art, art history and conservation. The choice fell upon the latter.
My interest in art grew over the years. Thanks to the study, I was visiting lots of museums, also art museums and therefore getting much closer to the works, concepts and statements about society of artists. The study focused on historical visual art, but modern art seemed more interesting to me. Illustration and installation art are specializations that I find captivating. They obviously both have a very broad spectrum of styles and variations. Not all of the styles are appealing to me, however most of the time I appreciate how the artists use the mediums. However, this is only a very small representation of what I find fantastic about art. Although other interests started to become a bigger part in my life.
Design, which is very close if not related to art, is also one of my favourite forms of art. Grand sets of beautiful theatres, alluring graphical designs or an inventive way of packing lunch; design is most of the time innovative and helps the world develop further. It’s closely linked to society and what it needs. It has a more practical side to it. Which I think that is sometimes underrated in art. Some might see design as a mere tool for the commercial world; I think, however that it carries a lot more value than that.
Science was always important to me and although I learned about the scientific side of conservation of historical objects and buildings. I wanted to explore further in the field science, for example how technology could be used in creative and different ways. Especially the science of biology fascinated me for a longer time and I wanted to get more involved in that area.
Another element that I wanted to dive deeper into was entrepreneurship. I got a taste of cultural entrepreneurship during my minor Cultural Entrepreneurship. It is a distinctive way of working. It focusses on how to get the means you need to reach a goal in the most effective way. I wanted to train myself more in this manner of working because I believe being an entrepreneur is necessary in order to be ready for the cultural work field. So I wanted to try and find a study which could combine this fascination of science with art and entrepreneurship. That is why I started studying at iArts; an interdisciplinary art study, that not only focuses on art, but on research and entrepreneurship as well. Three exciting years raced by, and as a fresh graduate, I am ready for a new challange.