My name is Mary MacMillan van Asperen –Atkins. I was born on May 2nd 1941 in Soerabaja. I am a late-bloomer. I started painting when I was 55 years old.
After having followed courses for 4 years, I wanted to go on: acquire techniques, of which the technique of painting came first. Why this passion? Because there is this creative urge, which cannot emerge (no knowledge of techniques) and still it has to be formed. I had to express experiences in my life for instance the Japanese concentration camps, traumas which I still had, a coma. That was the essence of my creative urge. And why? I had to shake up people; find a way to break through the stoicism, the indifference. Why has not this creative urge revealed itself earlier? That has to do with repression.
I had no knowledge of techniques. And the Academy of Arts is the obvious place to learn techniques. So I screwed up my courage and went to the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague to have my work evaluated. I was accepted. I moved to Friesland and applied to the Academy of Arts in Groningen. And I was accepted there too. I had my training as an autonomous visual artist at the Academy Minerva in Groningen. I graduated in 2006.