Greef has only exhibited her work twice so far, the second time just a few weeks ago. That was where we met. The show was hosted in a shop on Acker Street. It drew a pretty good result, with seven out of the eleven works exhibited sold by the end of it. “This time I had even made a price list beforehand,” Greef says. She found herself unable to answer questions about prices during her first exhibition. She clearly hadn’t expected anyone to want to buy her works. “I didn’t even know if I wanted to give them away at all.” Cornelia Greef is in no hurry. She allows things to develop in the time they need. When she started making collages, she wasn’t showing her work outside of her own inner circle at all initially. That’s her partner, their two children, and some close friends. Eventually, she decided to upload her collages on Instagram, where feedback accumulated. “These are great”, people said. Some added: “Why don’t you exhibit them?” Greef wasn’t certain. She? Exhibit? Was that even legit? Could she do that? She hadn’t even attended art school. Courage overcame doubt eventually, and she found a small exhibition space that she was allowed to use free of charge. Due to the pandemic, visitors were only allowed to come by appointment, and never more than two at a time. This was about perfect for Greef as she was able to respond to every guest individually. Her collages received the attention they deserved, too. “Uploading a picture to Instagram is rather anonymous. I’m a stranger to the visitors there. That is, of course, quite different in an exhibition. As an artist, I have to deal with people coming to see me there.”
Every new picture Cornelia Greef creates is first shown to her partner, Tom Blankenberg, even now. He would like to tour his partner’s collages – as the musician and composer writes in a text on her website. Many other viewers probably have similar feelings about this. It’s just a matter of finding out which path to take to reach the wondrous, unknown, and at times strange worlds of Ms Greef. Let the journey begin.