Editor’s note, woman’s day special
Happy women’s month!
A special month calls for a special edition. What makes this edition especially special for our platform, is that it connects women based all over the world of different ages. Not just 45+ artists. On this day, we made an exception! Our quick and dirty call generated over sixty entries of artists who all submitted works that are related to womanhood in different ways. Going through all the different artistic interpretations on this topic that made their way to our inbox, we felt touched and inspired by all we had learned and that the artists had shared with us through their visual and written languages. Thank you very much to everyone who submitted and taught us something new, who showed something personal and beautiful. We hope you enjoy this edition, this day and this month.
Love Sol, Lisa, Marguerite
Ahu Sahin Kahori Kamiya Marin Hoedebrink Laurence De Valmy Truus Huijbregts Julie Batteux Melanie Jordan Anne-Marie Durand Charlotte Warne Thomas Marjoke van Plassche Hennie Peters Camille Eskell
@ ahusahin.studio www.ahusahin.com Amsterdam (Netherlands) 1. The Body says No, 2018, performance, video stills
Ahu Sahin Ahu Sahin is a Dutch/Turkish artist based in Amsterdam. She has a background in both Law and Fine arts which combines her interests in modern-day society and power structures with the art world as a platform. Ahu is interested in combining mediums such as sculptures, movement and film which she displays in installations or performances. The Body says No is a short film depicting a hairless leg being subjected to the painful process of waxing. “In a split second our body gives us information, however, we train ourselves to rationalize and ignore this information and don’t dare to listen to our bodies. The work questions conformism, autonomy and self-determination.”
@ kahorikamiya kahorikamiya.com New York (United States) 1. Football-hold, 2021, Foam, wire, fabric, wood, wool, toy, oil paint, 185 x 111 x 116 cm 2. Welcome Back, 2021, fabric, wire, thread, chair, foam, paint, fur, wool, 287 x 322 x 317 cm
Kahori Kamiya New York based artist Kahori Kamiya’s work explores the oppositions present in life experiences “like suffering and healing, beauty and grotesqueness”. “My current works focus on motherhood and especially breastfeeding time. My nursing time was an extremely dual experience between pain and pleasure. I am interested in transforming mother nature and my motherhood reality into my work.” She explores with special fascination the contrasts that are present in womanhood and motherhood as all of her works are visceral and rooted in personal memories and experiences. One of such contrasts is present in the featured work «Welcome Back», through which Kamiya reflects on her dual experience of breastfeeding, by using contrasting materials like ruffles, videos and foam. Since the pandemic, Kahori’s Asian heritage has taken a significant place in her life and in her artistic work, as many Asian people have faced racial discrimination and even violent attacks due to misinformation. Kahori wishes to share the following message, in this women’s day special: “On 27th February, seven Asian women were physically attacked in
Manhattan by the same man. Another day in January, one Asian woman was followed and killed by a homeless stranger. More than a year, Asians are suffering from «Asian Hate» and especially women are often targeted and physically attacked in public. I would like more people to know about this fact so everyone can live in peace and safety.”
@ ikbenmarin Utrecht (Netherlands) 1. Untitled, 2021, ceramic
Marin Hondebrink Dutch artist Marin Hondebrink plays with the idea of menstruation. By using ceramics, as she says a “a very touchy material” she adds physicality and vulnerability to her work. The tampon keychain and “Untitled” are meant to be seen and, in Hondenbrik’s words, “to put menstruation in a spotlight”, in order to show the world something that is part of many women’s daily life. Moreover, the simplicity and vulnerability of the white ceramics depict menstruation as an organic phenomenon, without romanticising it.
@ laurencedevalmy laurencedevalmy.com San Diego (United States) 1. David and paper pulp, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 46 cm, available at Range of Arts (Honfleur) 2. Berthe and Friends, 2021, acrylic on canvas, available at OA Fine art (Paris)
Laurence De Valmy French American artist Laurence de Valmy invites the viewer to reflect on art history and the way in which social media shapes art today. In her series “POST”, to which both featured works belong, she depicts iconic paintings as instagram posts, playing with her conception of originality. De Valmy’s paintings are completed by a ‘comment section’ in which artists and other emblematic characters engage in humorous conversations. The goal of her work is, in her own words “to share about the stories behind the artworks, the connections between the artists and to make my viewers consider these iconic artworks with a renewed interest by replacing them in the context of their creation.”
@ truushuijbregts truushuijbregts.nl Baard (Netherlands) 1. 58, 2021, performance with fabric & clay, video stills
Truus Huijbregts While in the north of Holland for 16 years, Truus Huijbregts found her passion for wool felt. Patiently she has been creating homemade tactile works ever since. “The time required by this process allows me to carefully reflect on what emerges in my hands. I like working with felt because it offers many expression possibilities.” Her works touch upon the connection of our conscious and unconscious in relation to the warm and soft material that is wool felt. These video stills are part of her work “58”. “I created a performance, filmed by my eldest son. Just after my mother passed away I made 58 cloths. These 58 cloths represent the 58 years I was a daughter of my mother. I had a difficult and complicated relationship with my mother. During the performance, I unfolded and smoothed out each cloth. After unfolding the last cloth my date of birth was shown. The smoothing out of the wrinkles in the cloth symbolized the attempt of forgiving my mother.” By researching themes of nostalgia, childhood and motherhood in her artistic work, Truus continues to explore her position as a woman and a maker.
@ juliebatteux juliebatteux.de Nuremberg (Germany) 1. Display IV, 2021, oil on canvas, 78,7 x78,7 cm 2. Spiegelschatten, 2022, installation
Julie Batteux The work of Julie Batteux combines analog and digital pictures with painting, as she aims to create a dialogue between different types of medium. Her work also intends to create dialogues and reflections in the viewer. For instance, regarding the theme of social media, she makes the viewer question: How do social networks affect the psyche of the user? How is our self-esteem hurt? In her series “Spiegelschatten” (Mirrorshadows), Batteaux explores how these environments have hurt her own self-esteem and fights this, by observing her own body by using a phone camera. The phone almost becomes a body part, as well as the tool of her body-exploration while simultaneously serving as the image-carrier of her paintings. Overdimensioned to scale the cell phone loses its practical, cute size. Larger than life, Julie positions it monumentally in the room, leaning on a wall or laying on the ground. The cellphone monstrously engulfs its surroundings. The proportions between user and phone reverse, mirroring the overwhelming control of the device over its users.
She combines the images with paintings. “By revealing my inner doubts on canvas, I reconquer the authorship of my body by painting my personal shadow, thus revealing and embracing it. Out of this self-portrayal a surreal mirror-image of “soul-body“ and “body-soul“ emerges. ”
@ meljordan6936 artymel.co.uk Faversham Kent (UK) 1. The troops of maternal concern, 2019, ribbon, fabric
Melanie Jordan After being passionate about the art world, especially fabric, Melanie Jordan decided to go back to school and pursue a MA in Fine arts. “Stitching is my primary process. It’s a very hands-on tactile way of working. It’s as if my thoughts and feelings are stitched into the fabric as I work. My work focuses on the maternal ambivalence of mothers of dependent adults, where the mother-child bond becomes stuck in a dependent phase. There is a tension between the need to nurture and feelings of entrapment.” “The troops of maternal concern” is a very personal work to Melanie. While opening up about caring for her child,, she navigates those feelings by translating them into words on ribbon. “These are wound around bodily bobbins. This series of sculptures contain my private feelings. As the ribbons are wound up, only glimpses of meaning are visible to the viewer. The words were stitched unedited. They are very raw and truthful. That is why they are so important to me.” Melanie’s work confronts real feelings that mothers might be scared to admit or face.
Melanie states: “Ambivalent feelings towards your child are a natural part of rearing a child into adulthood and independence. It is important that they are acknowledged, discussed openly, and are not hidden away in shame. For mothers of dependent adults, these feelings are ongoing. Never-ending, even. The need to shine a light on such ambivalence is thus more vital.”
@ balta6651 baltainholland.nl Amersfoord (Netherlands) 1. The Average Color of Paradise Part I, 2020, artistic research, 12 x 20 cm 2. Another Day in Paradise from the series Bericht van de reiziger, 2022, Postcard, 14,8 x 10,5 cm
Anne-Marie Durand Artist Anne-Marie Durand,, also known as Balta is a French visual creator who is now based in the Netherlands. Balta is fascinated by culture and identity and how our birth place or the environment we grew up in can play a significant role on our older self. “Issues like mother tongue, manners, habits etc…. can no longer be taken for granted. This personal perspective produces a new view of the self and of the world. The change in semantics and different use of language, leads to different and new perspectives.” “The Average Color of Paradise” is an artistic research (and search) for ‘Paradise’, that Balta started during the COVID-19 pandemic. From July 2020 to August 2021, she accumulated a library of internet-found images of paradise. From these images, she eyedropped colour samples, and described each colour individually. This resulted into 1600 colour samples in 16 booklets from which everyone can now choose his/her favorite paradise colour. Balta considers her project as a parody of advertising, of ourselves, in a world where we constantly lose ourselves between fiction and reality.”
She quotes: “Women invented the garden, men invented paradise and advertising sells it.” Balta explains that this is the motto of her work, as well as the reason this work belongs in our women’s day special. The second work we see is a postcard, depicting Paradijslaan (Paradise Avenue), Breda, The Netherlands.
@ charlottewarnethomas charlottewarnethomas.com London (United Kingdom) 1. Pressure holds it all together, 2021, gold clamp, babygrown, dimensions variable
Charlotte Warne Thomas The work of London based artist Charlotte Warne Thomas is a reaction to the daily exploitations and contradictions of late capitalism and neoliberal ideology. She is particularly focussed on the structural inequalities facing women (artists) who are also carers (mothers). Specific locations, histories and narratives that demonstrate how these exploitations and contradictions affect us on a personal level are the starting point of Thomas’s creative process. “My work is frequently responsive, reacting to specific locations, histories or narratives, and always based on exhaustive research.” It is her situation as a working woman and a mother that serve as a starting point for the work featured in this edition. “Pressure holds it all together” constitutes a reflection and criticism on the way in which today’s society gives different value to the various types of labour that are required when being a working mother. The sculpture, located outside the studio where Thomas works, is accompanied by the following text: “As I was busy caring for my son, I sent this G-clamp to an electroplating workshop, paying for someone else’s labour and materials to plate it in a 3-micron-thick layer of 22ct gold.
It’s holding my son’s first babygrow onto the solid industrial fabric of this building, where I have a studio, where I come to work as an artist, while I pay someone else to care for my son”. A material she uses a lot in her work is gold, as she is fascinated by the unique historical and fictional narratives it conjures, and its duplicitous nature. She uses performance, installation, collage, AV, and writing, to explore the idea that gold is incorruptible and a reliable store of value, articulating and challenging the complex and interwoven concepts of care, love, labour and freedom.
@ marjokevandeplassche marjokevandeplassche.nl Lent (Netherlands) 1. Matriot One, 2017, Polyurethane foam, pigments, 22 x 10 x 7,5 cm
Marjoke Van de Plassche Marjoke’s background as a biologist fueled her passion for the environment, objects and unusual combinations. Locations and objects that she comes across, evoke stories of what was or what might have been. She fuses these stories with her knowledge of biology. “In my mind’s eye, I link utensils to natural processes and place this unusual combination in a recognisable human habitat. I use soft polyurethane foam because it looks soft and inviting to touch, and, depending on the colour pigments I add, it evokes associations with the body. In large art installations, I also use glass, wood, wool, metal, paper, etc.” The work she has chosen to connect to Women’s day is “Matriot One”. “Matriot One is a soft, loving, feminine foam button that should be pressed as a reaction to patriotism and war”. The title refers to matriotism, which is the ideology that women’s influences upon society should be loved and celebrated. The word was coined as the female equivalent to the male patriotism. “A yin to its yang, a counterforce to the violent militarism of patriotism. Devotion to Mother Earth, ecology, sustainability, and peace”.
Marjoke wanted to share a message to every woman reading this: “With every decision you make, think about the chain of life we are all part of. Keep both ancestral and future women in mind for guidance and inspiration.”
@ hennie.peters henniepeters.nl Mepel (Netherlands) 1. Selfportrait (detail), oil on cotton, 185 x 90cm
Hennie Peters Hennie Peters is a Dutch queer artist and educator. In her practice, it is her goal to educate society about the importance of self-love, body positivity and sex positivity. Hennie believes that, by sharing vulnerable and authentic art she will create the visual representation we need in our society. “Most women we see on social media and in shop windows do not look like us. We need more accurate representation of what women can look like. That is why I submitted this work. It invites women to take a closer look at themselves and appreciate who they truly are.” She goes on by saying: “Nude portraits classically also refer to sexuality - more specifically to the male gaze on it. Is this portrait simply a woman’s approach on the subject of nudity?” The self-portrait we see is a lifesize oil painting of 185 x 90cm. This self-confronting work was a pivotal moment for Hennie, an eye-opener to self-appreciation. “It was also important in my career as an artist. For the second time in my career, I felt a work transcended the original idea, or plan or image.”
@ camilleeskell camilleeskell.com Conneticut (United States) 1. Turban Marriage Fez: To Have and to Hold, 2017, Digital imagery, French lace, silk, trim, mixed media, 109 cm 2. Useless Females: Don’t Stand There Like a Bloody Momo from Words of My Father, 2019, Handmade gold-stamped paper, digital image, slippers, trims, mixed media, 60 x 86 cm
Camille Eskell The work of the American-Iraqui artist Camille Eskell constitutes a feminist analysis of the way in which culture is interlinked, and perpetuates gendered traditions and patriarchal systems. By combining drawing, painting, photo-based imagery, and sculpture, Eskell reflects on the way in which these traditions and systems have shaped and continue to shape the female experience of generations. The featured works in this edition belong to her series “The Fez Storyteller”, in which she includes Indian and Middle-eastern fabrics, fez caps, and cultural symbols to specifically analyse the influence of her culture and family. She says “As the third girl in a turbulent Iraqi-Jewish family from Bombay, I felt impelled to explore the psychological legacy that shaped my perceptions, identity, and motivations’’. When asked about a message she wants to share with women around the world, it is precisely this what she advises, the exploration of one’s one culture and identity in relation to womanhood.
Editor and founder
Sol Basarán van Ham, Lisa Colombo
Work by Julie Batteux: Display I, 2021,oil on canvas, 55,1 x55,1 cm
Special thanks to
All the fantastic women who submitted their work and who run the world. And thank you Nando.