Alexandra Haeseker

About the Artist

Alexandra (“Sandy”) Haeseker was born in Breda, Netherlands, in 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the same year that Canada liberated the Netherlands.  This event had a significant impact on Haeseker’s family, who moved to Canada ten years later in 1955.

Haeseker became a Canadian citizen in 1979, although she had already become a successful artist. With her new home as a base of operations, Sandy joined the faculty of the Alberta College of Art (now the Alberta College of Art and Design) and began to exhibit her work internationally.

Working largely in  printAn exactly repeatable visual statement which exists as two-dimensional physical material.  media, Haeseker’s work is  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)  and ranges from  stylizedTo stylize is to alter natural shapes, forms, colours, or textures in order to make a representation in a preset style or manner. The design of any work tends to result in its having a style, and its having been freely chosen is one aspect of its appeal. "Stylization" suggests a more controlled application of a style, the artist having less freedom of choice. (Artlex.com)   illustrationA drawing used to explain a story, idea or method.  to accurate and accomplished photorealism. Her broad practice also includes  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  (as in the case of her collaborations with fellow Calgarian John Hall and time-based  mediaAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  (Redfern, 2006).  Haeseker also addressed the coincidence of her 60th birthday and the 60th anniversary of Holland’s liberation in 2005 with two political and autobiographical works called Breda I and Breda II, in which the artist incorporated artifacts both from the Second World War and from her personal history. (Onoda, 2005)

The animals and the objects we surround ourselves with are often the subjects of Haeseker’s colourful work. She examines the social role of animals in their interactions with humans and the codes of behaviour that we try to instill in them.  Often she seems to applaud the human fascination with animals while at the same time playing on the melodramatic or comical aspects of animals as social trophies; her work, Millarville, from the Mendel Art Gallery’s  collectionTo collect is to accumulate objects. A collection is an accumulation of objects. A collector is a person who makes a collection. (Artlex.com)  and presented in the ARTSask theme Coexistence, is a prime example.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning