Andrea EimkeAndrea Who?

Born in Germany, and from 1983 to 2015 resident in the Cook Islands (South Pacific), I lived nearly half my life between the influences of my European heritage and  my adopted Pacific Island environment. This liminal space has been the focus of my artistic research and still forms the basis of my creative work.

After primary and secondary schooling in Düsseldorf, I studied languages at Heidelberg University. Work as translator, interpreter, and management secretary took me to Spain, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

A radical life change aged thirty began with a formal embroidery apprenticeship followed by the migration to Atiu, Cook Islands. With local share holders, I founded the Atiu Fibre Arts Studio, as whose director I worked from 1986 to 2015. I promoted tivaivai (Cook Islands traditional textile art) in numerous national and international exhibitions. My own artworks have been exhibited and are held in private and public collections in Rarotonga, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Japan, Turkey, several European countries, the USA, Canada and Brazil.

My book Tivaivai – The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands, co-authored with Dr. S. Küchler, was published in 2009 by British Museum Press, London, UK, and 2010 by Te Papa Press, Wellington, NZ. My barkcloth lace sculpture Home features in Mary Schoesser’s prestigious book on Textiles,  published in 2012 by Thames and Hudson. I wrote a chapter on Cook Islands textile art (tivaivai) for Cook Islands Art & Architecture, published in 2015 by USP Press, Suva, Fiji.

In 2010, I graduated from AUT University, Auckland, NZ, with a MA (first class honours) in Art & Design. This blog was started as illustration for my PhD studies in art and creative technology at AUT Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Personal circumstances forced me to put these on halt. After my husband’s severe illness and death in 2015 I moved to Spain where I am now reconnecting with my artistic practice.