Marieke Tollenaere (Rikki): sea themed fine art and abstract paintings
Some time ago I posted on my Facebook looking for interesting artists and crafts people I should talk to for this column. Several people mentioned Rikki. Marieke Tollenaere, known as Rikki, is a Belgian artist based in Mallorca. In her own words, she “combines her passion for the sea and nature in a collection of sea themed fine art and abstract paintings”.
Rikki studied art at school since she was 14. The sea has always been an inspiration for her art. Both of her grandmothers lived by the sea and she spent a lot of time there, often going for long walks with them. She later studied restoration, specialized in wood and marble painting, and made a career out of it.
Then an opportunity came to sail across The Atlatic with a friend who previously taught her sailing and she jumped at the chance! On the way she discovered the whole yachting world and thought to herself that this was the way to make her dream of travelling the world sailing come true. She abandoned her earlier profession and became a „yachtie“ – a stewardess at first and then a chef. She kept her creative juices flowing by varnishing whatever needed to be varnished on the boats she was on and by seeing foods she was preparing like „a bit of this colour, a bit of that colour, a few of those shapes etc.“ – just like a piece of art.
By now Rikki crossed The Atlantic so many times that, when someone asks her to go again, she protests: “Do I have to?” But I still hear excitement in her voice when she tells me of her upcoming trip! I have no experience, but I imagine that, once this life at sea captivates your soul, it never quite leaves you.
These days Rikki paints full time and lives in Puigpunyent, where you can visit her studio by appointment and commission her work. Her paintings are also available in Rhythm of Blue gallery in Antigua, if you are reading this in that part of the world. Rikki offers individual and group art classes and is currently looking into making prints of her work available for sale, so watch this space…
Mobile: +34 646 17 50 14
UCO: a whole lot more than a bakery
If you frequent Palma´s brunch scene, you have probably noticed something that many cool cafés in town have in common: bread from UCO! It comes plain, or in some interesting ingredient combinations such as “carob and nuts” or “raw cocoa and cranberries”, but it is always sourdough (“masa madre”) and delicious. Intrigued, I decided to go in search of the actual bakery.
Once there, I was even more pleasantly surprised! The space is, in fact, nothing like a typical bakery. It´s large, airy and painted in inviting shades of white and yellow. There is even an olive tree! The bakery is run by Gus and Kate, a cool couple from Brazil and Barcelona respectively. The two former lawyers decided to abandon their corporate careers and do something a lot more meaningful to them. Gus started baking “one bread at the time” and personally delivered it to his clients in Argentina, where they lived at the time. He was super excited when he could upgrade his operation to baking five breads at the time! Today, in Palma, they offer a good selection of bread, with some staple flavours and others changing weekly or monthly. Of the ones I tried, I really liked their bread with figs and toasted Mallorcan almonds, but I was also intrigued by the one with curcuma, raisins and sesame.
The reason why UCO is in this column, rather than the foodie one, is that it is so much more than a bakery. They offer locally made craft chocolate, locally produced kombucha and many other delicacies, but they also sell handmade ceramics and paintings by local artists. Gus and Kate are really immersed in our local community. They are often organising art exhibitions and other events. Their first birthday party was one of the coolest events I have been to this year, where literally hundreds of people came by to celebrate their success so far and wishing them well for the future…
If you haven’t come across UCO yet, I urge you to head there and I promise that you will love their bread, their art and the way they are as much as I do!
Address: C/ de Berenguer de S. Joan 1
Mobile: +34 636 03 82 87
Cristal de Coco: jewellery inspired by mother earth and our precious Balearic Islands
Last month I interviewed the artist Pablo Bracaccini and I was intrigued by a pendant he was wearing. He told me that it was made by his girlfriend Karina. I looked at her Instagram and was instantly drawn to the colours and the style of jewellery she was making.
Karina is a trained Intensive Care nurse from Malaga, living in Mallorca for the past six years. She has been creative since she was little, but it was a small accident and a subsequent two months of sick leave (without use of one hand) that made her look into jewellery making. She started reading and watching videos on this subject and began making her first pieces out of epoxy resin. Karina has always been impressed with the nature that surrounds us and so it came naturally to her to start making pendants with stones, flowers and so on, immersed – or as she likes to say “conserved” – in resin. She saw it as one way of connecting with our ancestors. I particularly like her collection involving tiny stones which can be matched nicely with most outfits.
Karina´s packaging is also worth mentioning. She buys the pre-cut carton, puts it together herself, ties it with a string and then adds a personal touch to each order: a piece of dry plant, a dry flower, or a small drawing. Everything this young lady creates is cute and stylish, just like she is herself. Her jewellery nicely reflects her own personal style, which is relaxed and quite hippie.
When I ask Karina about her plans for the future, she tells me that she is looking into making her next collections with silver as well as gold plated pieces. Another goal is to open a joint space with her partner where they would both sell their art and connect with their customers more personally. For now, Karina is selling online; she is very active on social networks and most of her customers come through word of mouth. I suggest you check her pieces on Instagram and I am pretty sure you will find something you like.
Mobile: +34 661 16 65 87
Text: Mia Naprta
Photos: Private archives unless otherwise stated