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Features > Spring > Waterside Homes > Clea Van der Grijn
BD238: Clea Van der Grijn
Remodelling a 1980s bungalow gave artist Cléa van der Grijn a chance to realise her dreams and create space for her art to breathe. Cléa used the footprint of the existing house, ripped out all the internal walls, added a beautiful aluminium roof that reflects the ever-changing Sligo skies, and in the process, created a timeless, but highly contemporary classic for herself and her family. The best artists have an exceptional eye, which is either something innate, or developed through years of looking deeply at things. In Cléa’s case, this is coupled with a great sympathy for materials. Here, solid concrete and unpainted plaster appear soft, almost breathing, and are highlighted with perfectly placed artworks from the artist’s recent exhibitions. “It was important to me that every single material in the house would never have to be looked after,” Cléa explains. “Everything is either natural wood, metal, concrete or wax plaster. There are no skirting boards, no paint to be redone. Everything will, I hope, only grow more lovely with age. Nothing is pretty or ornamental in the build, everything has a function, but for me it is beautiful.” The house has been a labour of love, but perhaps it was also in the blood. “I was brought up with my father always buying houses, in Amsterdam or Ireland, doing them up from scratch.
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