Gerda was born in Berlin in 1931; her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933. She survived the Nazi occupation and after the war briefly worked in a pottery before studying under Wessel Couzijn and then at the Rijks Academie; in 1952 she was awarded a grant to study in Paris under Ossip Zadkine.
The sculptures that Gerda made developed from early carving in stone and then refractory brick, in which she carved negative shapes into which bronze was poured, to modelling in wax for small work or in clay for larger pieces, which were then cast in bronze or occasionally in cement or resin.
Her sculptures are almost always of people, often celebrating something, because she got her inspiration from where she lived. She also made portraits and modelled birds, including owls, flamingos and hawks, cats, dogs, donkeys, goats and other animals when she had the opportunity,
Gerda enjoyed working on a commission and hoped that the work, which is generally figurative, would be self explanatory without the need for a title She often said that she had come to realise that the sense of freedom and hope that she experienced as a teenager in Holland after five years of occupation in World War II had really never left her and that it continued to colour her work.
Major commissions include:
- Two children with building blocks; stone carving. Velsen, NL. 1956
- Children playing; bronze. Oosterpark, Amsterdam 1957
- City Tower; bronze cast in refractory brick. Harlow. 1970
- Gate post eagles; ciment fondu. Gibberd garden, Harlow. 1973
- Prof. Norbet Ellias; bronze. Bielefelt Univ. Germany. 1977
- Sir Frederick Gibberd; bronze. Harlow. 1979
- Brahms; bronze. Music Centre, Utrecht, NL 1981
- Picnic; 3m resin/fibre glass relief. Tesco, Lewisham 1988
- 36 Flying Birds; bronze. Hospital, Dudley. 1990
- Pensive Girl; bronze resin. Lewisham. 1992
- Counterpoise; bronze. Ladbrook HQ, Watford 1996
- Centenary sculpture,Three girls; bronze, St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, SE1 2003.
- “Three Hundred”, Cathedral School, Southwark. 2003/4
- Pool and fountain with 8 life-size Flamingos, garden of listed house in Blackheath SE3- 2010
- Exuberance, Makarova -bronze resins, house near Horsham, Sussex 2011
One Man Shows include:
- 1958,59 Martinus Lienur, The Hague; Rotterdamse Kunstkring, Rotterdam.
- 1964 Holland Park Gallery, London.
- 1967 Gallery 66, Blackheath.
- 1975 Woodlands Art Gallery, Greenwich.
- 1985 Playhouse Gallery, Harlow (with Robert Koenig).
- 1986 Galerie Petit, Amsterdam and N.M.B. Bank, Amsterdam.
- 1987,91,93 Ashdown Gallery, Uckfield, Sussex.
- 1990 Blackheath Concert Hall, Blackheath.
- 1992 Gainsborough House, Sudbury, SufFolk.
- 1993 Royal Netherlands Embassy, London.
- 1998, 2002 Galerie Petit, Amsterdam.
- 2006 Gibberd Gallery, Harlow – Retrospective
- 2008 Parndon Mill in Harlow “By Hand and Eye”
- 2017 Parndon Mill in Harlow “Insight and Observation”
Group Shows include
1972 87 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 14 pieces in 10 exhibitions.
1977 London Group; Playhouse Gallery, Harlow; The Mill Studios, Lewisham.
1979 Loft Gallery, Stanstead Abbots.
1979, 86 Work constantly on show at Ash Barn Gallery, Petersfield.
1981 Leinster Fine Arts, London.
1982 Sculpture in the Park, Cheltenham; Concert Hall,Lewisham; Hall Place, Bexley.
1983 Ten Artists from Space Studios, South London Gallery.
1983, 85 Whitechaple Open; Open Studios, Deptford; Sculpture Court, RIBA, London.
1983 88 Leicester Education Authority; 14 works purchased for schools collections.
1985 Norfolk House Artists, Woodlands Art Gallery, Greenwich; Ladywell, London.
1986,88 91 Hannah Peshor Gallery, Surrey
1988,90,93 Galerie Petit, Amsterdam.
1989 Wycombe Abbey School, High Wycombe; Knapp Gallery, Regents Park.
1990 Singer Museum, Laren, Holland.
1992 South London Gallery Centenary Exhibition.
1992,93 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
1993, 94 Sculpture in Riverdale Gardens and at Town Hall, Lewisham.
1996 Festival of Music and the Arts, Mayfield, Sussex;Woodlands Art Gallery,
Greenwich; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition; Collyer Bristow, London.
1997 Chancery Gallery, Royal Netherlands Embassy, London.
1998,99 Unicorn at Space 8, London; A&C Gallery, Greenwich.
2000 Greenwich artists at Rangers House, Blackheath; Galerie Petit, Amsterdam.
2001,02 Unicorn Gallery, London; Broomhill Sculpture Park, Devon.
2003 Orchard House Art, Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire
2008 – 2017 Various venues with Surrey Sculpture Society including RHS Wisley