Together We’re Stronger: Grid Collective

All about the Amsterdam art collective, working towards community, culture, and creativity

In the time of coronavirus, the creative pursuit is more often than not, slapped with the label of ‘excess’ on their heads and given the boot. With much of our lives being held at a toll, it is hard justifying our roles as creatives as necessities when there are people in the healthcare, food, and public transportations sectors, who put themselves at risk every day to keep the world turning.

In truth, I struggled with keeping myself afloat during one lockdown after another, with most of my daily interactions involving my plants and my mirrors, I was not creatively challenged or stimulated. I felt like I was stuck in the creative purgatory that is my writer’s block, I felt like I couldn’t write a sentence that I didn’t hate.

But then I found GRID.

The GRID Collective (“GRID”) was first conceived by Ashna Wiegerink, at the time, she was a student at the University of Amsterdam. The 21-year-old Mumbai native moved to Amsterdam in late 2017 for college, and since then have integrated herself into Amsterdam’s art scene. In the summer of 2018, Wiegerink returned to Mumbai for a two-month-long journey of self-improvement, artistically and mentally, little did she know, GRID would become her best outcome.

GRID is an art collective that hosts exhibitions with the single aim of providing accessible creative opportunities to anyone who wants to participate, regardless of background or experience. It has been thought of as a safe space for artists with no experience or connections in the cutthroat art industry, with a focus on young creatives, who are often met with the short end of the stick, Grid provides a free space for them to express themselves. 

There is no limit to what you can create with GRID, the collective is home to illustrators, painters, and writers alike. Though each with their expertise and interests, the group never fails to support each other in their endeavors. 

I reached out to several members from GRID, to pick their thoughts on how GRID has benefited their art journey. Laura Ciamei, a 19-year-old illustrator and painter, said that “with encouragement from the collective, I’ve noticed an improvement in my art and have felt comfortable in trying out different styles”. 

Emma Vooijs, a 20-year-old designer and illustrator said, “Grid has given me a sense of purpose and consistency in what could have been a very trying time, as well as providing a place to display people’s creativity that [could have] stayed hidden forever”.

Hannah Kang, a 20-year-old illustrator and producer said, “there has been more feedback and recognition than when I first started, it definitely helped motivate me in the creative process, it’s also given me the opportunity to be more experimental”.

GRID hosted their first exhibition in December 2019, with GRID: ONE-NIGHT STAND later followed up with the second installment of the trilogy, GRID: FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, in March 2020. Each respectively faced with enormous success, barrier-breaking artists had the opportunity to meet their deserved audiences and present what they’ve been working on. 

With government lockdown and measures in place, GRID’s third exhibition, GRID: MORE THAN SEX is put on hold till January 2021. The third exhibit will center around the themes of Sex Sells and Sex Acceptance, and participants of the exhibit have already been announced and their work is being gradually posted onto GRID’s Instagram.

Keep up with GRID’s journey on Instagram !


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