Book ´Maternity’ with paintings by Gustave Nouel

265805 Pinchos- PGB promo Banner (25 x 5 cm)-5 copy

Throughout her pregnancy and shortly after the birth of her daughter Lilian in 2015, Aruban model and actress Zuleika Coffie posed for a series of 34 paintings ‘Maternity’ by professional Aruban artist Gustave Nouel. 

In 2015 and 2016 several exhibitions, fashion shows and other artistic activities took place in Apeldoorn, Rotterdam and Amsterdam in The Netherlands around this theme. Ramon Todd Dandaré, who was present at one of the exhibitions, launched the idea to make a book of Gustave’s paintings and Zuleika’s personal texts that accompanied the paintings.

From dream to reality

In order to realize this artistic book, the two professional Aruban artists got together with several other creative and dynamic individuals to make their dream become reality. The outcome was that not only would it have to be a book in which timeless maternal love and experiences of the pregnant woman (and mother) are reflected in images and words, but also a book in the four most spoken languages in our Kingdom (Dutch, English, Spanish and of course Papiamento).

“Besides being a book in four languages with an ode to the universal theme motherhood, our aim and dream is to create a bridge between the European and Caribbean parts of our Kingdom and if possible, between the Dutch Kingdom and the rest of the world, in the artistic sense of the word,” according to Nouel.

Based on the original texts by Zuleika Coffie, preparations began for the publication of this book with the title ‘Maternidad’ di soño pa realidad den imagen y palabra’ (‘Maternity’ from dream to reality in images and words).

Writer Benne Solinger and translator Fred de Haas revised the Dutch text. The English text was revised by Maureen Berkel. Ramon Todd Dandaré, the driving force behind the realization of this book, revised the texts in Papiamento and Spanish and was also in charge of the final revision.

The talented poet Rosabelle Illes wrote the foreword, stating: “By fragmenting honesty into simple storytelling, Zuleika makes sharing seem natural …”

Quito Nicolaas, writer and reviewer, culminates on the back cover with: “The book Motherhood is the reflection of an inner journey through the emotional life of a pregnant woman”(…). The paintings and poems depict the moments and changes that a woman experiences, as well as the interaction between nature and the individual. (…) ”.

Graphic designer Steffen Maas was approached to help professionalize the book, while LMPublishers was in charge of production. The publication was made possible thanks to the support of: Union of Cultural Organizations Aruba (UNOCA), Representation of the Netherlands in Aruba (VNO), Telecommunication service company Aruba (SETAR NV), Fundacion Cas pa Comunidad Arubano (FCCA) and Fundacion Corector di Papiamento (FCP). The book is available in a limited edition at the bookstores. For more information Ramon Todd Dandaré can be contacted at