Janknegt Gallery, Laren
By drawing I unabashedly celebrate the intermingled beauty of nature and culture. My curiosity often lingers upon the collected and preserved specimens we find in museums and their archives. I love how the museum serves us the world on a platter, and how collection aesthetics create a visual compound for the isolated object, to be represented and re-imagined through history. A true layer cake of representation. I want to take part in that ongoing history, but simultaneously break through the barriers that can make those specimens feel distant, homeless and dead.
A drawing holds a promise of perpetual thought and movement, even in the most petrified subjects. I’m drawn towards the statuesque, and how to translate it’s materiality unto onto the paper. Within a digital age, this seems most significant to me. Working with pastel emphasizes and sometimes complicates that materiality, while the size of the paper invites me to amplify and abstract that materiality. It’s like performing optical autopsies, albeit with such brittle instruments.
I want my work to feel firmly contemporary but inherently historical; Indebted indebted as I am to my Dutch roots, whose’s colonial past spawned the explorations and art that intrigues me, as well as my own family history. I want to question the artwork’s marriage to its depiction. Can an artwork drawing or painting be a safe-haven for objects of desire, to be beyond the realm of greed, violence, lust and death? Many of these specimens are, the stealthy evidence of our dealings with the world and its inhabitants. When artworks drawings or paintings are objects of desire as well, does that set them free?
My curiosities and questions regarding the representation aesthetics of the past and present would be well explored within the wider range of those same representation aesthetics, and within an institution so relevant to my place in time, as I am looking towards new dimensions for my work to unfold in. To determinedly wander within the pictorial jungle of representation, one is to give new perspective to old traditions and also to urge new pathways for creation and depiction.
— Roos Holleman, February 2018