After graduating the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva (1999, the Netherlands) Marijke Sjollema was selected for the Dooijewaard Stipendium Award. Followed by a full-time career in working with the imagination in whatever technique the story wants to be told. Painting, drawing, installations, film and animation. Her work and projects are based in a dialog with nature, and all research and questions that arise from that. Nowadays Sjollema is an established artist whose work is represented by several galleries and museums throughout Europe. She divides her time between her studios in the North of the Netherlands, below sea level, and Sweden, at the seaside. Ever since she first encountered, by chance, a wild bottlenose dolphin in 1993, she has been traveling to meet and sometimes swim with free dolphins and whales all over the world. In 2015 she founded the Dolphin Swim Club.
‘Nothing has spoken more to my imagination than staring into the eye of a cetacean, there is a sense of a very soulful being, good willingly looking back at you. There always seems to be this element of magic around whales and dolphins. In all these years I have seen many people being profoundly moved.
This is the experience I would like to share with you. For anyone who can’t be out there in the oceans (all the time) the amazing technology of 360° VR will bring them home to you! And better still, the dolphins stay in their own home, the free oceans of the world!’
The wild dolphins may truly enrich people’s lives, make them smile and contribute in the research of Virtual Reality technology in mental healthcare. The Dolphin Swim Club started as an art-project, however it turned out to be an additional medicine for so many people. Research on the beneficial effect has started, and will take place within the coming years.’