Karin van der Molen

Moonstruck

A huge hollow hayball is suspended in the citypark of Kiev, offering a place to be alone and isolated in a natural surrounding. Just the smell of the grass, the feel of the hay and a view towards the sky.

FACTSHEET:

Dimensions : 300 cm x 300 cm x 300 cm (Height, Width, Depth)
Weight : 200 kg
Year : 2012
Material : Natural materials, Metal
Style : contemporary, abstract, Land Art, poetic, monumental, interactive

Karin van der Molen

The green world is my canvas and my main source of inspiration. The fields, forests, grasses and rivers invite me to engage and to question the contemporary separation of humans and nature. Usually I make site specific art with locally sourced materials, seducing myself and the passer-by to see and enter nature in a new way. With my environmental art I invite to encourage, amplify and intensify our imagination and to open up to our surroundings. I am fascinated by the different aspects of growth. How nature grows, how growth gets out of tune, how the growth of one either hinders or stimulates the growth of another. In my latest artworks examples of human culture are translated into natural shapes, such as crockery growing on trees as a fungus, or ‘pipelines’ made out of hay and willow. Beyond the history, humour and esthetics of the pieces lies the open question:”What am I doing here?”

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Kamiyama kintsugi
The sculpture was inspired by the presence of human culture in the mountains and forests of Shikoku, where pilgrims and other travellers left many (sacred) objects over the past centuries. Hundreds of small stone buddhas as well as little offerings in cups and bowls are scattered along the winding mountain paths, as reminders of an old tradition and civilization. The stack of rice bowls refers to these offerings that Japanese people use(d) to give to natural phenomena, such as trees, rivers and mountains. I invited the contemporary inhabitants of Kamiyama to be present on their mountain by contributing some of their own tableware to the sculpture. By using their bowls, cups and plates I want to honour their way of co-existing with the (wild) nature that surrounds the village. By glueing the broken pottery onto the sculpture the porcelain becomes ‘whole’ again, just as happens with 'kintsugi', the Japanese art of repairing broken cups with gold. What was broken gains value and meaning.
Karin van der Molen, Ceramics, Concrete
Frozen flight
A 3D expression of the flight movement of a bat. The work refers to the colony of bats living in the park that surrounds the Lolland Falster Museum.
Karin van der Molen, Metal, Natural materials
The alchemist
The forest is a place of transformation. Nature is changing continuously, offering endless possibilities. This funnel offers a place of concentration to receive the unexpected.
Karin van der Molen, Metal, Textile
About a tree
The forest is invited inside this building in the Andorra mountains, as human culture pushes itself out the window and grows on top of a tree. Can we take the forest with us inside? And how does our presence influence the forest? These were the questions at the base of a collaboration with video artist Pat van Boeckel, who made this work inside the house: https://vimeo.com/344178430
Karin van der Molen, Wood, Ceramics
Heart of Gold
The bamboo sculpture is inspired by the shape of the Chinese goldnugget, a symbol for wealth and prosperity. Here in the forest of Capriasca wealth can be experienced in an unworldly manner. It's not about money obviously, but the availability of clean air, a forest floor, trees, leaves. It is about life.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials
Not in my backyard
These industrial shapes get a homely appearance because of being covered in traditional carpets. The carpet designs refer to gardens and plants. At the same time the European landscape/nature as a whole is designed and man made. The artwork plays with the double bind of being dependend on these industrial presences and our loathing of them in the environment.The piece in the end also creates an illusion of being a ritual place. Maybe it could be a place where the dualism as described above can be solved.
Karin van der Molen, Wood, Textile
Not a knot
Forests, fields, rivers and the sky: nature’s most important feature is it’s openess. There are no boundaries, we can disappear in it. Even seemingly impenetrable forests or labyrinthical footpaths open their ways to us if we carefully listen to their language. Nature may feel like an impenetrable knot, a place too difficult to understand. It did to me for a long time, as I was born and raised as a city girl. The digital age only added to that feeling of alienation. But breathing the fresh air and hearing the leaves rustle, I envisioned an open knot sculpture, woven as lace with willow. It is open from the top to the bottom , letting the sky in and move through the tube to the earth.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials, Metal
Sign of the times
In the south of Sweden there are still many gravehills of the bronze age and rockcarvings that may be even older. The sun was worshipped, it was depicted as the so called Sun Cross. The landscape is changed nowadays in a functional way, it can be a nature reserve or used for (industrial) farming or tourism. In many places pipelines criss cross countries to supply fuel for our energy needs. I used the graphic quality of these pipelines, popping in and out of the ground, to depict ways of human traces in the landscape. Seen from the center of the otherwise randomly installed pipes the prehistoric sign of the Sun Cross appears, as a reminder of a different view on the earth that we inhabit.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials, Metal
Reflecting the forest
The materials used industrially now returned symbolically and physically to the nature they came from. Trees in a forest carry a certain energy and their purpose is simply to grow, to live, and the industrial structures we build are ever as temprary as nature's. So the seemingly incongruous juxtaposition of corrugated metal trees in a forest position, question the relation between the human and natural, and even makes us question what is 'real'.
Karin van der Molen, Metal, Stone
Ceci n'est pas une pipe
This is not a pipe, to paraphrase Magritte, but the sculpture suggests the existence of a pipeline across the river. Pipelines are abundant in our world and even if they disturb the landscape they are eventually accepted as a new kind of nature.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials
Mindbubble
When thinking we are hardly aware of the environment, we are closed in our mindbubble. When you put your head in this coconut fibre sculpture, the world is dark, soft and lonesome.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials, Metal
Flux
This old villa needed to be connected to the botanical garden that encloses it. I moved the old furniture and it started to flow as a waterfall down into the garden, returning to nature.
Karin van der Molen, Wood, Installation
Polarbear 2.0
Everything changes always, but now nature is forced to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. This 'skin' is put on a frame as the Inuit do traditionally after their bear hunt.This feathered polarbear skin raises questions about tradition versus modernity, change and loss in the natural world.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials, Textile
Vanitas
Vanitas objects are an old symbolic in the arts of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures. This feathered skull is fixed to a transparant boat, ready to cross the waters, may also be seen as a tribute to the beauty of life.
Karin van der Molen, Natural materials
Void
Void is an installation about energy, a person who is not there, but whose presence can be presumed, and a solid wind blows from the east. The two are connected, but the 'how' is an open story.
Karin van der Molen, Wood, Natural materials
The source
Fragments of china porcelain form this funnel into Yu Lei mountain, an artpiece along the historic tea trade trail. At first sight it can be read as a tribute to the ancient culture, that is still feeding our culture today. Patterns of blue and white porcelain in the sculpture tell us about yin and yang balance, values that are still able to inspire us beyond the challenges of modern life. At closer look you will find also pieces of porcelain coming from European countries. As happens in this sculpture, our cultures get closer and eventually we are influenced and inspired by one another. At the bottom of the funnel there is the drain, to let the rainwater out of the sculpture. The drain pipe also tells us to cherish our fundaments, and not let them be washed away.
Karin van der Molen, Ceramics, Concrete
Kintsugi Coral
KintsugiCoral is inspired by the shape of a piece of coral, but as a coral is built up as a skeleton the sculpture is overgrown with broken pottery. Human culture and a piece of nature have intermingled into a new form of coexistence. The work refers to the coral as an endangered species, under serious pressure of human activities. From this point of view, the pottery ‘suffocates’ the coral. On the other hand it offers a positive view on the ecological drama, because coral and humans are interdependent. The broken pottery refers also to the Japanese art of ‘kintsugi’. It means that by repairing a piece of broken pottery (with gold) it will gain value and meaning. In this case the pottery forms a new whole as a sculpture, a natural growth on the coral shape. The philosophy behind kintsugi, about acceptance of loss and change, can also be applied to the sculpture. Regarding nature and the coral reefs in particular, change is something that has to be dealt with, and repairing the damage is the next step.
Karin van der Molen, Wood, Ceramics
The thorn
This corten steel sculpture is inspired by the real existing plant Colletia Paradoxa, consisting of little airplane wings. It is a prickly plant and so are airplanes in our world, very convenient but displaying inconvenient effects on nature.
Karin van der Molen, Metal
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