In my work, materiality is telling and all-important. I choose materials that impress. Sometimes through their physical appearance – fragile and vulnerable. Sometimes through their sensory impact – there’s no escaping them.
I started as a ceramist and became fascinated with porcelain, also called the white gold. The vulnerable beauty and long history of this material stimulated me to search for the boundaries of this very special clay. After some time I managed to cast wafer-thin sheets which I loosely folded and draped after drying, leaving them in the room seemingly casually.
Nowadays I work with rubber. Physically a very pronounced material - that smell! That presence! – but less aloof. It feels akin as a skin, a mass. It allows itself to be joined and connected, supple and constantly flexible.
My work develops in an intuitive process in which I consider each step carefully – without a prior design – but still resulting in a natural final image. The process leads to large, present forms, spreading out in unexpected lightness and transparency. At the same time they are elusive, requiring attention and alienating. They are entities of their own, close by and unignorable.
‘When you have reached the end of what you know, you are at the beginning of what you should say’ Kahlil Gibran
My research is about ‘connections’. The process is highly intuitive, I enter into a dialogue with the material – that is how a work is created. Then I take some distance and look, explaining what has come into being. For me it is not so much about the final visual image, but about the questions that arise from this and stimulate me to look for new uses, in which different types of connections are central to me. Rubber as a material and the ‘rubber-like’ (synthetic rubbers) have a very strong image. It is indispensable in industry, the medical and transport sectors and in literature is also called the black gold.
Connecting and the work
In a good connection, the connected parts each preserve their own identity, but through the connection they form a new unity. This is evident in the work because the identity of the connected parts (the material already has a very specific character of its own) is maintained. The connection is an addition, not disruptive but complementary.
The connections create stories. They refer to a past, or a ‘new’ reality and thus a new identity is created. Initially, I made industrial connections using metal screws and rivets. Soon, wrapped and sewn wire connections with plastic-coated copper and steel wire were added. These eventually led to the colourful, embroidered and sewn cord connections. The material, originally industrial in character, is thus given a new identity.
Similar to what happens in society, a connection is forged between people with different cultural backgrounds, gender or sexual orientation, a new form of being together, a new society.
In other words, the work is essentially about ‘connecting’. This work thus creates a direct link to current times, with a new society coming into being through the ‘connections’ between those different individuals.