Artist Raquel van Haver was born in Colombia but is now based in Amsterdam since graduating from the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht. She largely works on burlap, combining oil paint with physical objects like hair, cigarettes and bottle caps to add a layer of depth and three-dimensionality to her scenes. She likes to immerse herself in a culture – Lagos, for instance – before she begins to paint it. Her works show the ways people live and socialize in different places, for example championing the beautiful vibrancy of the “outdoor life” that’s so often lived in hotter countries for practical reasons but is stereotyped as a sign of chaos or disorder by those in the west. We spoke to Raquel about her practice during her 2018 solo exhibition “Spirits of the Soil” at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, but her work has also been exhibited at the Dordrechts Museum, Lagos photo festival and BOZAR Centre for Fine Art in Brussels.