Marijke Sjollema CEO and Founder
The Dolphin Swim Club
Artist Marijke Sjollema, graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Groningen, first encountered, by chance, a wild bottlenose dolphin in 1993. She has since been traveling to meet and sometimes swim with free dolphins and whales all over the world. Deeply Inspired by these encounters her work and projects are based in a dialog with nature. Nowadays Sjollema is an established artist whose work is represented by several galleries and museums throughout Europe. She divides her time between her studios in the North of the Netherlands, below sea level, and Sweden, at the seaside. In 2015 she founded the Dolphin Swim Club, and serves as it’s creative director.
‘Nothing has spoken more to my imagination than staring into the eye of a cetacean, there is a sense of a very soulful being, good willingly looking back at you. There always seems to be this element of magic around whales and dolphins. In all these years I have seen many people being profoundly moved. Meeting a wild dolphin seems to act as a portal to bring people back into contact with nature and all sentient beings, including themselves. This is the experience I would like to share with you. For anyone who can’t be out there in the oceans (all the time) the amazing technology of 360°VR will bring them home to you! And better still, the dolphins stay in their own home, the free oceans of the world!’ The wild dolphins may truly enrich people’s lives, make them smile and contribute in the research of Virtual Reality technology in healthcare. The Dolphin Swim Club started as an art-project, however it turned out to be an additional medicine for so many people’.
In more than 150 healthcare institutions and hospitals worldwide, patients are swimming with the wild spinner dolphins of the Red Sea. Research on the beneficial effects has started (University Medical Center in Groningen, Stanford University, ‘s Heeren Loo) and will take place within the coming years.