Since the years of the sixties Unamore’s art has been exhibited throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Portugal. The abstract, colourful, detailed and flat but seemingly multidimensional paintings portray the essence of people, groups of people, energy fields and their mutual interactions within process of evolution. The Christian symbols of her youth blend with other religious and spiritual traditions in an understanding of the driving forces of evolution: hope, faith and love.
Unamore was born in 1942 as Marijke van Velzen. Her mother, Secunda Langehenkel played the piano. Her father, Pieter van Velzen was an artist. She was the only child in the family. Characteristic for the atmosphere in which she grew up was the openness of her parents towards a life of freedom, accompanied by a desire for harmony and unity. The family expressed their views within the ecumenical movement. Pieter sought after a new religious language in his paintings, sculptures and stained-glass windows. Unamore spent her childhood between sound and colour, and the conversations of poets, musicians and architects.
Unamore showed to be a talented child that desired to paint. Pieter built her a place to work. In a spirit of freedom, awakened by the Cobra movement, she chose to develop her talents with guidance of her father and life itself. Fascinated by the role of Light in life, she began to feel life through colours, expressing it to paper. At the age of 21, Unamore presented her art for the first time. Since that day exhibitions followed in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities such as Almere, Haarlem, Zwolle and Hilversum. While during these years the world of art gradually shifted its focus to other media, the oil painting remained Unamore's preferred form of expression.
In the end of the seventies and first half of the eighties, Unamore's work was inspired by political issues. Her husband, at the time was an activist, who drew attention to the rights of the Palestinian people. In their house people met and discussed world issues. Unamore sought to find her own understanding of evolving events. Daily she selected one article from the newspapers and expressed the feelings this news aroused in her. During these years she painted hundreds of 'political dailies', using mixed media on paper. Influenced by the feminist discourse of these years, Unamore aimed to reconcile the 'male' facts as expressed in journalism with her 'female' emotions.
Gooijer Fine Art
In 1988 Unamore joined the International Gooijer Fine Art Gallery. She stayed for more than ten years. During these years her work was exhibited at Lineart in Gent in '88 and '89 and yearly at the Holland Art Fair in The Hague as well as the Kunstbeurs in Amsterdam. Unamore remembers the gallery of Hendrik Gooijer as a wonderful opportunity to paint in freedom and show her work to a larger audience. Political issues made place for an inward journey, searching to discover the essence of being human.
Bringing Light to canvas
Resulting from the evolution in her way of working, the colourful light, present in everything, became increasingly visible through the paintings. Unamore's sensitivity to perceive energy fields of man, cities, peoples and nations and the cosmic Light within them enhanced. During decades of practice she developed techniques to bring these energies on paper, making them visible to others.
One way of visualising energy on paper are Unamore's portraits or personal shields. This form of art contains all aspects of the traditional portrait without the outer appearance of the subject. Unamore prefers to use the term shield because of its connection the purpose of shields made within Shaman traditions. These shields have protecting and healing functions for certain aspects of the subject, which can be an individual but also a larger group or spiritual entity. The portraits speak about the beauty of the soul, the radiation of its Light. Doing so these shields provide a positive direction to the consciousness of the person portrayed. Up to this day, Unamore has painted over 250 commissioned shields.
After a cooperation of more than ten years with Gooijer Fine Art Gallery, Unamore chose a new more personal road. Feeling the major shifts on Earth and the changes which accompany them, inspired her to found the l'Ouverture d'Unamore. The l'Ouverture d'Unamore started in 2000. Since that year, Unamore invites people into her house and place of work on a monthly basis. Also in 2000 she exhibited her painting in an old church in the woods near the city of Velp.
Seven European cities
In 2000 Unamore started a series of paintings about seven cities in Europe; Mechlin, Bruxelles, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Fatima and Granada. The paintings portray the role of these cities and its inhabitants in their relative position. Unamore incorporate historic stories and legends as well as contemporary social and political issues in her work. The influence of the cosmos in the cities has her attention too.
The first city of her city-project was Mechlin in Belgium. In 2001,10 paintings about this city and 26 others were exhibited in a local church, the Begijnhofkerk. The next year the Koekelberg Basiliek in Brussels exhibited 80 paintings, among which 10 dedicated to the Belgian capital. 2004 was the year of an exhibition in Amsterdam, showing 38 paintings in the museum of Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, an old merchants house on the channel. In 2008 Unamore exhibited 30 of her ‘Berlin Lieder’ in Berlin, in a church in the Charlottenburg district .
In the years 2010 and 2011 Unamore exposed around the 30 works titled ‘From heaven and Earth’ in 4 cities in Portugal (Fátima, Oerem, Entroncamento and in the famous Castle of the Convent de Christo in Tomar). Returned in Holland she exposed her work in the Rosa Spierhuis in Laren. Currently, she works at her series for Paris, which will called ‘Les couleurs de Paris.’ The seventh and last city will be Granada in Spain.