Apprentices Max van Loon – Shanna Huijbregts – Lotte Werkema – Bobbi Cleij
Master Willem de Haan
Gardens are meant for cultivation, display and enjoyment of nature, but most of all show that we are in control. They are proof of the beautiful contradiction that the organic can very well be planned. Combined with elegantly designed support structures, such as fences, shrines, poles and ponds, nature lives up to its highest ornamental potential.
For the exhibition ‘Scenery Scenario’, the artists, Max van Loon, Shanna Huijbregts, Lotte Werkema & Bobbi Cleij, had a look at the man made objects that make a garden, treated plants as characters and searched for the practical function of ornaments. Over the past months Belmonte Arboretum (Wageningen), Middelheim (Antwerp), La Villette (Paris), Graafse Akker (Den Bosch), De Munt (Dordrecht) and MORPHO’s Monastery garden served as testing grounds for an exhibition that shows organic growth, slightly in control.
This group of artists has artist Willem de Haan as their mentor. Through regular gatherings, these artists actively participate in an exchange of ideas, practices and experiences, collaborating with their mentor towards the realization of their final group exhibition.
Opening: Friday 7 July 19h
Location: MORPHO (The Refectory),
At the opening: entrance via Ploegstraat 25
During opening hours: entrance via Kunsthal Extra City (provinciestraat 112)
Open until: Sunday 30 July
Thu + Fri, 13-19h
Sat + Sun, 11-18h
• Max van Loon (1999) – ArtEZ Arnhem
Van Loon creates performative installations where the line between props and art is blurry. Their performative way of creating is strongly linked to medieval theatre and puppet shows. They use aspects from these kind of formats to explore the tension between entertainment and art. They force entertainment to play a role in their art practice by using theatrical elements in an art space, they do this in a seemingly playful manner to question how art is consumed.
Other important elements in their work are text and humour. Text can give context to an artwork while at the same time adding a layer that makes it ambiguous. Humour gives the audience an easy way to relate to the work, but it is also uncomfortable, because art is still seen as something that’s not actually supposed to be funny.
• Shanna Huijbregts (1997) – Fine Art at St. Joost Den Bosch 2022
She unites the softness of textiles with the firmness of solid paintings, ceramics and objects. Borders are to be extended through play. Inwardly focused on exploring the mind/body connection, outwardly she expresses colours on the edge of obnoxiousness. Always mirroring her insides, either hoping to manifest or purely radiate. Shanna Huijbregts’ practice merges the two that seem separate; a mission to balance out the playground against that never-ending construction site, which are both sharing the same terrain.
• Lotte Werkema (1981) Nieuwe Akademie Utrecht
Lotte Werkema makes objects that contain a contradiction: body attachments. The promise of physical redemption on the one hand and the impossibility of that ideal on the other. They are innovations for the limited body, but when wearing the abstract fittings they prove impossible to use. She also investigates this field of tension through performances and other work in which the relationship of the body to the (public) space is central.
The colorful accessories look playful, familiar and strange. Made of thermoplastic, foam clay, electrical wire and fabric, materials that are used in orthopedics. Lotte always photographs her twin sister wearing the attachment. A spherical sculpture fits around the hips and turns out to be protective crash pants. In this way, the abstract object temporarily transforms into an accessory applied to a body of flesh and blood.
The work stems from Lotte’s reality: living with a disability and the objects she cannot ignore in everyday life. For Lotte Werkema, appropriating a tool or situation is having control over – and ironically resisting – things that are beyond her control.
•Bobbi Cleij (1998) – St. Joost Academy Breda 2022
Her diverse images, sculptures and installations could be described as romantic fragments of everyday life. Scenes that prove us that our most clumsy moments are the ones we should look forward to. Cleij’s works depict in a playful and humorous way the beauty of these small moments, which most people tend to overlook. With her works she invites us to look again and appreciate what we have come to take for granted:
‘I took the batteries out of my clock.
Standing still to cross the road in front of me,
I look from left to right and left again.
In between, during something else, my eye falls on that one thing.
On the left, I see someone dropping his groceries al over the street
Right, I see a hat flying off of a woman’s head,
and when I look to the left again, I wonder why time goes faster than I can stop it.
Thinking what to think about.
Planning not to plan anything.
Making the everyday visible again.
Pointing out whats is already there,
while dreaming in glaze.
Over time a routine arises, action no longer requires thinking, things seem to be normal and become thoughtless.
Pause for a moment, allow for being wondered, and marvel.
I zoom in,
lose the overview
go back to the beginning.
I look around me.
Can I cross already?’