Elleke van Gorsel
Artist in residence for the month of August 2022.
About Elleke van Gorsel, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
In terms of content, I am inspired by (autobiographical) history, family relationships, literary and philosophical texts, socially engaged themes and (wild) nature. Inspired by memories of my youth in Zeeland, my visual language often evokes associations with the flora/fauna of the marine world and the nature of the island Tholen. Impressions from travelings through Asia, Central- and Northern-America, Westernand Eastern-Europe, Northern Africa leave also traces in my work.
My choice of material, technique and format is always determined by my concept of that moment, and the context of the location and theme. In the course of time I have build a various oeuvre consisting of autonomous art and applied art/design. Coming together of history/craftsmanship and new innovative techniques have been
characteristic of my work, especially lately with SLS 3D printed accessories and jewelry, some colored with natural materials.
I usually work autonomously, but also sometimes on commission for governments (a.o. Municipality of Waalwijk), companies (a.o. Rabobank The Netherlands, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Fries Museum Leeuwarden), non-profit organizations (a.o. Catharinagilde Eindhoven) and private individuals.
In my youth I was living on a farm at the small island Tholen, originated by land reclamation of salt marshes from the 12th century. Already as a young child I was experimenting with the heavy sea-clay from my
parents fields, making pottery and statues, and primitive baking these in the sun. And I loved to print my body in the loose earth behind the potato harvester. I was also studying nature at that time; the earth, the sky, clouds, wild flowers, flying birds, insects, etcetera.
That proces of looking closely at little creatures and studying nature from my early childhood is still the case, it has never stopped for me.
THOLEN versus ICELAND. (a presentation of work in the making)
Artist: Elleke van Gorsel. Country: The Netherlands
Two different islands, two different origins, two different floras, two different coasts/beaches and two different maritime species. The island where I have been born THOLEN in the Netherlands, what in the 12th century raised from muddy conditions and clay, versus the 20 million years ago out of volcanic eruptions created island ICELAND.
Last year I started this project in Tholen, which is not presented here. Last month, as artist in residency at SIM Seljavegur, I did visual research at several beaches in Reykjavik, and the native Icelandic plants section in the botanical garden in Reykjavik. And I did research in the Library of the University Reykjavik. This month I am continuing the research in situ here in Akureyri, at the coasts/beaches, and more inlands. I also started with research at the botanical garden here, at the Iceland section. That I have to continue.
At the end, after more research at Tholen, I will make a book with mostly pictures about species in nature. With texts in Dutch, Icelandic and English.
What to see at my OPEN STUDIO at Gilfélagið Deiglan: pictures that I made with macro lenses about the specific Icelandic flora and maritime species. It’s not a registration of nature sec, but abstracted pictures. I added my reflections on some pictures itself, or at completing sheets with mixed media like water coloring, pastels, oil paint sticks, inks, embroidery, etc. Those additions are to complete the image, or as a kind of reflection/association on the sort of patterns on some images.
After years of working with 3D materials and working on the computer, I wanted to take the freedom to rediscover and enjoy again to play freely with drawing/painting/ free embroidery, etc. The core of my visual 2/3D work is related to my private personal history, and to the big issues nowadays in the world around us.
Since my early childhood where I grew up at a farm, I study, admire and respect nature with all the floral and animal creatures. Blessed to have a small city-garden, I can enjoy, grow plants and help extend nature in my neighborhood.
Things in nature are changing. Our behavior has triggered climate change. Will we continue to act the same as usual, or are we willing to change our behavior so that nature can restore and become well again? Things to think about, and eventually to adjust our behavior.
For now a very warm welcome in the Gilfélagið Deiglan exhibition room to enjoy this
part of my Icelandic work. It is just a moment in the proces of creation.