"Elma Alkema from Groningen recently finished her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in the same town. In the exhibition she was offered space that best brings out her work, in the intimate ‘print room’ within the large exhibition hall (of Museum Belvédère). Her beautiful pastel and pencil drawings exude a mysterious, fairytale mood. They show a miraculous, partly hidden world which only becomes real in dreams: far from the here and now but also very near. You can read the drawings as fanciful stories. In ‘Bell Cage’ from 2004 Elma Alkema offers aspects of landscape, animals and half-hidden faces or masks, enabling you to descend within yourself. To be able to produce these drawings, the distance to Friesland and her childhood years proved very important. She admits that without this distance she would not have been able to represent the woods, pastures and animals from her youth the way she has.” (…)

by Rients Kooistra − ‘Friesch Dagblad’ − 6 December 2006

(…) "Alkema on the other hand, doesn’t lodge any complaints; her fairytale-like work is first and foremost a playground for the imagination. You can read into it what you like, but the work remains pleasantly undefined, which doesn’t mean it is superficial. Quite the opposite. Her "inner landscapes” seem inhabited by humans, animals and imaginary beings. Often depicted at dusk, their piercing stares are aimed at whoever passes. Yet somehow the mood is inviting rather than oppressive, perhaps as a result of Alkema’s sensitive touch and application of pastels. Her work is now on show at the Museum Belvédère in the exhibition ‘Friezen om utens’. It’s not often a graduate immediately gets to put a museum venue on her CV. It means she has a lot to offer.”

by Susan van der Berg − ‘Leeuwarder Courant’ − 27 January 2007

(…) "Her pastel drawings of little corners of the Frisian southeast, like Allardsoog, the Slotplaats in Bakkeveen and the Opsterlandse Compagnonsvaart, look familiar and slightly naive, but upon closer inspection contain a hidden threat. In the dark mysterious forces lie hidden.”
by Sytse Singelsma – ‘Leeuwarder Courant’ – 30 November 2006

"Elma Alkema shows pastel drawings in dark hues, spaces and landscapes illuminated by a light shining from afar. These magical, spirit-laden situations are inhabited by animals as well as humans. The feeling of looking into a different, fairytale world captivates the viewer.”

‘Nordwest Zeitung’ – 19 August 2008

  © 2016 Elma Alkema