“The Artist Mother is not dead, solely deeply underestimated.”

Melanie Maria (Haarlem, 1993)

performance artist, director/choreographer

Melanie Maria (1993, Haarlem) is a performance artist. In 2010 she started to study at the Dance Teacher/Maker department at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, where she developed as a choreographer and director. Thus, her interests grow beyond her skills and creating performance art at the dance academy inspired her to study Fine Art (now: Base for Experiment, Art & Research) at ArtEZ University of the Arts Arnhem. Here she graduated in 2019 with her 9-hour durational performance Never learnt to share, which was also awarded with the 2nd price of the VKC Award 2019. After graduation Melanie Maria was invited to create several performances for Nothing To Sell, a one-week exhibition in Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rome, Italy, and in 2020 her installation It still remains and her artistry got awarded with the Jan Naaijkensprijs 2020.

It is all about the Other. The Other as seen as the spectator, the artwork, the space/surroundings, the performer, the artist. Is the Other the individual? What is the individual and who is the collective? We share. We share our desires, our fears, our grief. Where do we share of how do we interfere with our collective inner selves? How do we relate to one and another and how do we relate in the space and its momentum.

In her work, Melanie Maria presents herself as a director. She directs the elements with and within the moment. Causing the performer, the surrounding, the space and the material come together in an honest way. “Working, thus creating, in the moment envelops a certain spontaneity which causes a pure poetic feeling. While creating I dive within my own narratives through the desires and melancholy of the elements. This can be the performer, the space and/or the material. I encounter my work as a research. As if I am walking in a maze, finding my way to the end or back to the beginning.”
‘The Other’ is an important ingredient in the work of Melanie Maria. This all started during her time at the dance academy where she focused on creating performances with the audience as participant. During her residency at Fondazione Pistoletto Cittadellarte in Biella, Italy, in 2019 she re-examined this idea by creating performances in the public space. Here, she researched the tension within performers, their surroundings and most important: the spectator as passer-by. This given, where the spectator is asked for a certain commitment is something fertile Melanie Maria loves to research. She sees this moment in relation to the tension build-up in a theatre play, solely the spectator becomes the director and it is in their committing decision if they stay or if they leave.


In 2020 Melanie Maria became herself “The Other”, due to being pregnant of her first born and becoming in a Mother in November of that same here. Since then, Maria comes accross shocking prejudices about The Artist Mother. Since then she is busy with researching those ‘traditional thinkings’ in the artworld, writes manifests and works together with Vrouwenmantel Art Research Group.

Apprentice Master – Kunstpodium T 

Kunstpodium T, Tilburg | 2019 – 2020 

Bachelor Degree – Base for Experiment, Art & Research

ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem | 2015 – 2019

Honours Programme

ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem | 2016

Bachelor – Dance Teacher

Amsterdam School of the Arts, Amsterdam | 2011 – 2014

Internships & Residencies
Artist in residence

Stichting Derde Wal | 2021


If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam | 2019

Artist in residence

Fondazione Pistoletto Cittadellarte Biella, Italy | 2019


Revolving Door (by Allora & Calzadilla), Museum Arnhem, Arnhem | 2017


Genderless Project (by Alicia Framis), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam | 2017


Alicia Framis, Studio Framis, Amsterdam | 2016


studio MOTHER | 2022 – present

Researcher & Interviewer

Vrouwenmantel Art Research Group | 2021 – present

Student Facilitator

Base for Experiment, Art & Research, Arnhem | 2021 – present

Project Coordinator

Base for Experiment, Art & Research, Arnhem | 2020 

Interviewer & Curator

Rizoom, Arnhem | 2018 – present

PR Coordinator

Fourth Wall – BEAR Finals 2019, Arnhem | 2019


De Barmoeder – BEAR, Arnhem | 2018 – 2019


5 à 7 – BEAR, Arnhem | 2016 – 2019


Examination Committee – BEAR, Arnhem | 2016 – 2018


Student Council – BEAR, Arnhem | 2015 – 2016

Founder & Director

House For Art, Haarlem | 2014 – 2017

Dance Teacher/Choreographer/Director/Production Assistant

Various, The Netherlands | 2007 – present


Upcoming 2023 – Solo, TAC x High Tech Campus, Eindhoven
2022 – Commisioned Work, Arnhem
2022Commisioned Work, TAC x High Tech Campus, Eindhoven

2021 – Stichting Derde Wal: Social Aspects 2021, Nijmegen
2021 – 5 Jaar Kunst Op de Koffie, Arnhem
2021 – ACT II: Can I come to you, River?Stichting Derde Wal, Ooijpolder Nijmegen
2020 – Season Highlights – Jan Naaijkens Prize Nominees, Kunstpodium T, Tilburg
2020 – Smart Distance Lab – The Art Fair, Kromhouthal, Amsterdam 
2020 – Apprentice Master Returns from the Web, TAC, Eindhoven
2020 – Scores for Being alone Being together,  Kunstpodium T, Tilburg
2020 – ΔΩΡΕΑΝ,  Galerie Sleedoorn, Zetten
2019 – Performance Marathon,  RUIS, Nijmegen
2019 – Kunst op de Koffie,  Spijkerkwartier, Arnhem
2019 – Art Rendez Vous,  KOP Breda, Breda
2019 – Nothing To Sell,  Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome (IT)
2019 – Best of Graduates 2019, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
2019 – Fourth Wall – BEAR Finals 2019, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem
2019 – Cittadellarte x ArtEZ Arnhem: Open Studio, Fondazione Pistoletto Cittadellarte, Biella (IT)
2018 – Melanie Maria x Elevated Art, Elevated Art, Arnhem (solo)
2018 – Wereldwijd de Heerlijkheid, Landgoed Hemmen, Hemmen
2018 – Inner / Outer ScapesCirca… dit, Arnhem
2017 – 24hrs, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem

Publications & Rewards

2021 – Vrouwenmantel Art Research Group x Witte Rook | link
2020 – Winner Jan Naaijkens Prize – Brabant Cultureel | link
2020 – Apprentice Master – Jan Naaijkens Prize Nominee link
2019 – De jongste generatie kunstenaars – Palet Magazine #402 link
2019 – Shortlist Best of Graduates 2019: Galerie Ron Mandos link 
2019 – VKC ART AWARD – Second price link 
2019 – Interview ArtEZ Finals 2019 link 
2019 – Review BEAR Finals 2019 – Lost Painters, Niek Hendrix link 
2019 – Review BEAR Finals 2019 – Metropolis M link 
2019 – Interview Cittadellarte Open Studio | link 
2019 – Cittadellarte & ArtEZ Arnhem Residency – Cittadellarte Journal link 
2017 – Re-reveal Hendrik Antoon Lorentz Monument Sonsbeek Arnhem – KNAW | link 
2017 – Re-reveal Hendrik Antoon Lorentz Monument Sonsbeek Arnhem – Arnhem Direct link 
2014 – Interview HRLM Magazine | link