The ruins of Utrecht
Dirkje was born as William Diederich Kuik en had a love-hate relationship with Utrecht. In 1977 Kuik started to call herself ‘Dirkje’ and two years later, she had her gender changing surgery in a London hospital to start her life as a woman. She wrote extensively about her surgery and life as a genderdiaspora-patient, like she called it herself, in for example ‘Housekeeping Book with Raisins’ (1984).
In 1960, Kuik, artist Joop Moesman and Henc van Maarseveen started the graphic collective ‘De Luis’. Besides being a writer and poet, she was a graphic designer and illustrator who focused on city images, figures and portraits. Her work attributed greatly to the Dutch neo-romantic movement. Her ‘Utrecht Notes’ (1969) received the Proze Prize from the municipality of Amsterdam. Her illustrated feuilleton ‘The Billiards Hero’ from 1974 was rewarded with the Vijverberg Prize.
In 2008, her former home at the Oudekamp 1 in Utrecht became a museum on her work.
A virtual tour to the museum is available on: http://www.dirkjekuik.com