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The Dutch Courier
is a monthly
published on behalf
of the Associated
Societies in
Victoria Inc.

De digitale krant van wakker Nederland

Fiona Vermeeren,
A young woman with a bright future in art..

A couple of weeks ago I popped into my little car and took myself off to meet Fiona Vermeeren, a talented young painter. Surrounded by her bright, colorful, interesting and beautiful paintings we had a discussion on what I hoped to write about her. We talked about her exciting forthcoming trip to Zaltbommel, in the Netherlands, where she will exhibit her paintings, the only non Bommelaar artist to be included in the Annual Art Tour. It was a most enjoyable visit. In reply to my myriad of questions Fiona provided me with lots of information about her life. So instead of quoting here follows her story in her story own words. Fiona Vermeeren “My mother was born in Amsterdam, and came to Australia in the 50’s as a teenager, together with her parents and four siblings. After completing her matriculation, mum studied at the National Gallery School, and later at RMIT, she gained diplomas in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. My father was born in Zaltbommel, the son of the local school headmaster. In his early twenties he set sail for Australia and on that journey he met my mother. She had been returning to Australia after her big adventure traveling the world and exploring Italy for a couple of years. After their arrival in Australia their romance blossomed, they married and shortl afterwards settled in Wheelers Hill (Vic). During their 16-year marriage they had two children, my brother Martin in 1973 and myself in 1975.
I have been fortunate to always having had a wide range of professional materials available to me. I was greatly infl uenced by mum’s paintings and that of her friend Elena I was drawn to creative expression and art, and was always encouraged.

During my primary school years, I spent a lot of time not at school! Mum was working as a graphic designer for a local Melbourne paper, she would let us ‘wag’ school and come with her to work. As the paper’s ‘artist’ she was given more freedom to be a little eccentric and break the rules, it was almost expected of her to play the stereotype. Her philosophy was: “Life teaches us more than any institution”. We loved it! I got to hang out with artists, writers, photographers, and some other very fashionable people, I never understood what they did. From the photocopier to the wax machine I was enthralled. Making pictures and collages with professional tools all under the age of ten, it was fantastic. I’d work on the layouts with mum and then watch them go through all the printing stages.