Group show ‘Demarrage”


In my third year at HKU I did some experiments. I made objects that I hoped would be irresistible to touch and play with. I made both geometrical objects and forms relating to the female body, all made out of wool. When lying about in my atelier people did play with them.  I noticed that they more often picked up the geometrical objects than the somewhat exaggerated female forms.

When I was asked to participate in a group exhibition ( Demarrage 27.02.09 – 28.03.09) with other students at the Academiegalerie in Utrecht, I had a chance to extend my experiment to a gallery setting.  The orange structure jou see standing in the middle of the gallery  is mine. It  it has no title as yet, is about 1.60 tall and is made of wood, stuffing and wool. It goes from rather hard at the bottom (because of the wool) to very soft and springy at the top (because of the stuffing). The wool wrinkles in an attractive way – I think – and is meant to tempt you to touch the thing. I didn’t want to post a sign telling people that they could touch of play with, that felt like cheating.

Whatever we can think of this thing as a piece of art – and I have my reservations –  as an experiment it was very illuminating. Nobobody touched the thing or played with it – at least not at the opening.. I checked with the students who baby-sat the exhibition during the week. Same thing: nobody touches.

By the way,  let me give you a couple of names of fellow students that were in the show and whose work inspired me: Geert van Mil, Eva Spierenburg (you see her painting to the right) and Jolijn de Wolf.

See my description of Experiment no 001/2008 Playthings for more details