MIEKE DE WAAL

‘My aim: disarming work about the great themes of life’. 

Good art captures your attention, plays with it, and lures it back when you want to get back to the order of the day. I like it when art is not hermetic but open and enigmatic, when it raises big questions. Who are we? Where do we come from? How do we relate to the world around us?
 
My three-dimensional work consists of floating painted objects that bring ‘the human’ into a space. I often choose a form that symbolises the human being: from a tiny dress to a more than man-sized kimono. And now there is the installation ‘Headlines’: a ‘forest’ of floating semi-transparent strips with colourful painted portraits on them, inspired by pictures from the newspaper. 
 
My work is tactile, seemingly fragile, colourful, often austere in form and with a skin on which much can be experienced. Each work carries its own story. For example: about being born in a different place than where life has taken you now.

‘Headlines’ Ode to the unknown world citizen

In the past two years I have thrown away almost no newspaper without first cutting out my ‘headline of the day’. With my archive of cuttings and an investment from the Mondriaan Fund, I began the monumental installation ‘Headlines’. While painting and constructing I bring back the big, overwhelming, but often abstract news to a softer human scale. I consider ‘Headlines’ successful when visitors are struck by those unknowns in the newspaper and have to suppress the urge to touch them.

‘An ever-changing installation

‘Headlines’ is an ever-changing installation. It adapts to the space in which it hangs. Segments leave and new ones arrive. Thus ‘Headlines’ depicts an ever-changing world history of our time. Interest in one another is allowed to prevail over the suspicion and irritation that have increasingly gained the upper hand in recent times.

Coming together

My cradle was in South Africa but I grew up in the Netherlands. The fascination for unknown worlds undoubtedly has something to do with that country of birth. I chosed to study both visual arts and cultural anthropology. These two fields of interest – art and man – come together in my visual work.

Individual segment – stretched on a frame – € 750,- 

A strip of three – on a bamboo support – € 1.800,-