“I am just a total sucker for circles”, says Marcelis, resisting any deeper interpretation, despite the celestial forms evoking lunar eclips- es and ethereal sunsets that appear in much of her work. Or the murky-coloured mirrors that might refract multiple reflections like a shadow in the corner of one’s eye. Perhaps, she concedes, there is something that harks back to her previous life as aspiring pro-snowboarder, which meant she spent a lot of time in the mountains and in nature and became hyperaware of the elements and their transformations. Although born in the Netherlands, Marcelis immigrated to New Zealand with her parents when she was nine years old. She moved away when she was 16 to follow her snowboarding dream, chasing double winters in New Zealand and the United States. At 21, however, she realised she wasn’t good enough to make a career out of it and finally settled on studying industrial design. Two years into the course in New Zealand, she transferred to Design Academy Eindhoven, in search of a more artistic approach to design.
The fountain Marcelis made for Aesop in Milan also introduced her to working with water for the first time, something she would now like to explore further: “I’m becoming much more aware of the amount of waste and excess being produced, and water is such a pure material that is not going to harm the environment.”