The network continues to grow...
Veldhoven - a small community west of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. A feeling of rural ambience mixes with the metropolitan chic and all its comforts. In front of the door of the De Kunstpraktijk gallery we are already welcomed by a start'19 poster. The generous shop window shows us a first glimpse of the upcoming event and the art works. We enter - into a very special kind of cultural enterprise and as guests at the conclusion of a very special art project.
De Kunstpraktijk combines gallery, guest house and studio in one. Owner Aurelia van der Burght, who worked as a ballet teacher for many years, has dedicated herself to the fine arts since 1993, also in the form of teaching, and, with her cultural enterprise, has created a place where she can bundle all her activities. The gallery hosts exhibitions of ever-changing artists and the guest rooms are always decorated with fine art. In the studio van der Burght organizes inspiring creative workshops for groups and also works freelance. "Last year was the first time I came into contact with sculpture network at Miet Air's start'18 event in Beer. In the end I decided to become a member because of the very pleasant introduction to the network that day," she tells us. "This year, for the first time, De Kunstpraktijk hosted a start'19 event. I wanted to find out exactly what it would be like to be a host and what would happen afterwards. It was a great opportunity to combine the finissage of the art project OUR LEGACY with this international festival of three-dimensional art. De Kunstpraktijk hopes to 'exchange' and 'connect' on this day".
left: Aurelia van der Burght,
right: Xandra Bremer, photo: Cindy Woudenberg
We start with breakfast together. After a champagne reception in front of the sculpture network video wall, Guest of Honor and long-time sculpture network member Xandra Bremer explains the organization’s special features. For most of the attendees it is their first acquaintance with sculpture network. This is followed by presentations by the artists of the OUR LEGACY project under the guidance of van der Burght and Bremer. These include Anne-Marie van den Thillart, Cindy van Woudenberg, Lidwina Charpentier, Hetty de Boer-Blonk and Ine ter Bogt. OUR LEGACY is inspired by archaeological excavations that took place in Zilverackers, the youngest residential area in the municipality of Veldhoven. In the course of this excavation Roman objects were found, including two dolias - spherical ceramic barrels - which were used for storage at that time. The dolium and its properties served as a starting point for the contemplation of the art project and at the same time formed a link between the past and the future. Thus, the works of art created in the course of the art project were also intended to connect the past with the present and the future. OUR LEGACY is therefore concerned with the question of what we will leave for future generations to find. We specifically remember three exemplary pieces.
With his work Contained (2018), Geoff Salmon devotes himself to the preservation of industrial buildings. Buildings and tools lose their function and significance when times change, so no one knows what they were originally used for. Tools can be disposed of, buildings can be demolished and it can be said that they have become unusable. But it is our industrial and historical past especially that must be preserved for future generations. By preserving it, we emphasize the importance of the location and its position in the future. Every building is a permanent legacy.
© De Kunstpraktijk.
Rice paper (Xuan), Sumi ink, nylon thread, wood,
Metal mesh; 115×115×50 cm; © De Kunstpraktijk.
Breath (2018) by Cindy van Woudenberg literally wants to draw attention to our breathing. The first and last thing we do in our lives. The quality of the air we breathe. The meditative value of breathing. The breathing of our ancestors and of future generations. On each sheet of rice paper there is a breath, consisting of inhaling and exhaling. As usual in the tradition of Sumi-e, the ink is rubbed for the mental preparation of the work. The brush is carefully filled with the Sumi ink before beginning work. Without a preconceived plan, the brush follows inspiration and exhalation on the paper. Each breath is influenced by the previous breath and the corresponding breaths. In this installation, 58 breaths hang in a circular form. All the breaths hang in order, no one breath is omitted, even the breaths that were not "outstanding". One does not always judge one's own breathing. The installation hangs and moves with air currents in the room. Seen in this manner, the work itself seems to breathe.
In the large acrylic paintings by Aurelia van der Burght, such as her work Roots (2018), it is not immediately clear what you are really seeing. "That's what it's all about," says van der Burght. "It often takes some time before something becomes clear, at first the viewer has no idea what he's looking at or what's going on." For this painting van der Burght was inspired by historical wood from Roman wells excavated at Zilverackers.
The presentations will be followed by interesting discussions on the topics:
- Where can I participate in an affordable "Artist in Residence" program?
- John Cage's motto: "To be inspired, it is not necessary to travel, you can find inspiration nearby or just by looking out the window".
- An explanation of my artistic work: is that really necessary or do I prefer to let the viewer decide?
- How does a gallery deal with social media in relation to the artists’ works? Does a gallery leave it entirely up to the artists whether they publish their works via social media? Or does the gallery ask the artists to exercise restraint in this respect? Are there any agreements about this? What would be wise?
The workshop 'the Power of Storytelling', which is entirely dedicated to CONNECTION and EXCHANGE, concludes the event. In her workshop, Hester Macrander introduces us to linguistic exercises that move between past, present and future. One could compare the process of telling a story with the creation of an image. As you observe what is happening around you, you listen to what is being said. However, the story you finally tell yourself is different from the original, because you pass on your own impressions of the visually recorded events. Here, too, the point is to connect with each other and exchange ideas. With the result that some participants were able to tell truly unique stories!
Author: Claudia Thiel
Claudia Thiel is an art historian and likes to pose her questions to the subject area in a journalistic style.
Cover picture with artwork by Julia Gubitz, "Kennung", 2018, ceramic object with accents of glass.