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Meet the creators

Iris Claessens

Hand-made jewellery (with a story)

As a young entrepreneur, Iris Claessens launched her jewellery label in 2019. When she was growing up in a small village just outside Maastricht, she became inspired by the wonders of nature. She translates this inspiration into poetic stories and gold jewellery pieces. Iris’s work often revolves around themes such as transience and fragility. She shows us the fleetingness of life. It is impossible to hold on to moments in time but moments will turn into memories. Iris captures the transient nature of life and enshrines it in gold jewellery pieces.

Together with the customer, she designs a customized piece in her workshop. Important occasions or memories are transformed into tangible objects. She makes hand-made items on a small scale, such as wedding rings and special jewellery. Iris does not produce jewellery for mass consumption or to follow trends. She uses her work to tell a story. A story about sustainability, respect for nature, and economical use of raw materials. That is why she collaborates regularly with Fashionclash, an interdisciplinary showcase and development platform for fashion and fashion culture and a global network of upcoming fashion designers.

Want to find out more?

> Visit Iris’s website

Iris Claessens Iris Claessens juwelen

Maarten van den Berg

City poet and visual artist

Maarten van den Berg is a Maastricht city poet and a visual artist. His poetry and visual artwork are characterized by a strong connection with everyday reality and an unmistakable romantic spirit. A tough search for tranquillity about urban sailors, love, death, interwoven simplicity, death, comfort, and fighting spirit.

He wrote five collections of poems and was included in various anthologies. In addition, Maarten has incorporated lines from his poetry in various places in Maastricht. At the taxi rank on the market square, the last four lines of his poem ‘Ruiters van de stad’ [Horsemen of the city] (2006) are written into the kerb. Somewhere along Het Vagevuur, near to the Vrijthof, the poem ‘Tussen de torens’ [Between the towers] (2012) has been chiselled into two hard stone blocks. Along De Beente in Heugem, the poem ‘Lieve Kitty’ [Dear Kitty] (2013) is displayed on the wall of the Anne Frank school. A blue line of poetry extends over almost the entire breadth of one of the supports of the Noorderbrug bridge, facing the Meuse river in the Sphinx quarter. On the interior wall of the staircase leading to the municipal council chamber in the Mosae Forum, you can see a quatrain from ‘De bomen wortelen even diep als wij’ [The trees take root just as deep as we do] (2015). Poems he wrote can also be found in various public places, such as the Koepelkerk, the Kruisherenhotel, the Molo5 restaurant, and the café De Karkol.

Want to find out more?

> Visit Maarten’s website

Holocaust monument Maarten van den Berg

Nicole Maurer

Urban architect

Nicole Maurer, who was born and raised among the hills of South Limburg, owns ‘Maurer United Architects’ together with her partner. This architectural firm, which has its roots in Eindhoven, is known for its foresight and its worldly, cross-border, and progressive way of thinking and working. The firm is based at the Jan van Eyck Academy, one of the most striking buildings in Maastricht. With its unusual shapes and sleek white stucco work with large window panes, it presents a stunning contrast to the historic backdrop of the Jeker quarter. Here, the world of art, culture, and architecture come together in a truly amazing way.

Nicole focuses primarily on translating new standards for spatial planning related to spaces for meeting, living, working, healthcare, education, and leisure. The firm works for clients around the world but also carries out large projects in Maastricht and the surrounding area. Projects they have been involved in include the renovation of the Muziekgieterij music venue in Maastricht, the Gulpener BrouwLokaal and brewery in Gulpen, and the development of the Roman Quarter in Heerlen.

Want to find out more?

> Discover Nicole’s favourite architectural designs

Nicole Maurer Architectuur Nicole Maurer

Zorba Huisman

Talented theatre and film maker

Zorba Huisman grew up in the urban city of Heerlen but moved to Maastricht to attend the Academy of Performing Arts. It was while studying here that she made her first documentaries. After graduating, Zorba joined the Maastricht Theatre Group as a young talent where she continued developing her skills as a maker with various performances. She is a young director with work characterized by strong, aesthetic images. Her work may sometimes be almost museum-like in character but aspires to achieve a form that carries content and strengthens the story. She directs theatre and film productions as well as documentaries.

Zorba is a storyteller. She casts stories that move her into a format that the story itself prescribes. This could be a film or documentary, although theatre is often the preferred genre. Her debut documentary, which can be seen as part of the NPO programme ‘Makers van Morgen’ touches on one of her key themes: dealing with fate. We see this thematic undercurrent again and again in her work. Her second documentary ‘Brieven aan de Hemel’ [Letters to Heaven] can also be viewed on NPO’s ‘Makers van Morgen’. It was also nominated for best documentary at the Limburg Film Festival.

Want to find out more?

> Discover Zorba’s favourite performing arts hotspots

Zorba Huisman Zorba Huisman op filmset