Microverse

 
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Good things come in small packages

Sometime around the end of last year I signed up for a project which required me to create the modest amount of 30 pieces of miniature artworks. I became really enthusiastic about the project from the get-go to create this tiny universe which quickly found its name, “Microverse”. The only real restriction to this project was the scale of the artworks, they were not to exceed  5 x 8 x 2 cm in size. That is minute for someone who normally creates room filling installations.

 

With this in mind I gathered all my favorite materials and a bunch of new ones scattered about my studio and slowly but surely started to work on the pieces. The overall driving force behind the various forms is that the shapes are derived from nature, in the broadest sense. Not quite existing in real life but convoked to life in my studio.

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These tiny works are reminiscent of the shapes and structures found in feathers and bones.


Another important source of inspiration for this project was found in the endlessly twisting möbius strip.

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With many of Microverse’s artworks showing us the external as well as the inner workings in a similar fashion. It’s easy to get lost between the layers of materials and dimensions, within transformative shapes.

In a way the miniature artworks present a voyage between what can be glanced at the surface or an intimate meticulous inner depth.

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Some objects feature natural patterns, ring shapes, serpent forms or winding coils, others represent a personification of phenomena like the blood moon, an eclipse or are a direct symbolization of emotion such as a burning heart.

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The creative process for this project was also an inspiration onto itself. Working on so many different pieces really allowed me to play with the subject and take a free approach in establishing the overlapping tone and theme. Since the pieces were required to be so tiny I figured their forms could be similar to what you might encounter when studying samples under a microscope.

 
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Peering through a microscope gives you a limited radial scope of your subject, as these artworks will be boxed individually (more on that below) the actual framing of the pieces became a challenge as well.

You can’t break the laws of physics but you can surely experiment and bend the rules a bit.

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I incorporated my favorite color palette. Varying through radiances of white to deep shades of black dark-dyed flax. Warm tints of golden yellow hemp and cotton fibers to burning scarlet reds of merino wool. The materials that I’ve used in creating the Microverse are really diverse. I did not just use only natural fibers but extended my fabrics to twisted, embroidered and wrapped flax, linen thread, cotton and silk fibers as well as nylon net and skai (artificial leather).
The Microverse collection is growing, there are currently thirty-two pieces but the ‘verse is surely expanding so keep an eye out.

Quick word about the project that Microverse will be part of. By origin a German concept called Kunstautomaat or Art vending machine when directly translated. The machines look similar to a cigarette vending machine and contain similar shaped packages yet the content is of an whole different level of enjoyment. Within the packages you’ll find a tiny artwork that is yours to keep for just two Euros. Considering the love and effort artists put into making these, that is a steal. If you’ve always wanted original art in your house, here’s your chance. You can even boast about having an art collection if you wish. And obviously it’s your chance, but a totally random one at that, to own an Original numbered piece of the Microverse.

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There is more in store for Microverse, keep an eye out for future developments.

 

monikaloster.com/microverse

facebook.com/kunstautomaatHuBKerkrade/ 

kunstautomaten.com/

Openpoortendag Buggenum 2018 re-cap

Looking back at my latest exhibition, a couple of weeks ago in Buggenum, I feel it was well worth it. Not only did the Art Route draw over 3000 visitors on a Sunday, it was the first conjoined exhibit-outing for Ardamon our Artist-collective composed of Hadas Lieber & Bart Hoogveld and myself.
We took over a whole barn and transformed it into an abattoir, at least in a meta-literal sense.

The idea behind the Artworks lends itself to the location. Upon first visit anyone can sense a state of decay; it wasn’t until we were installing our Artworks that we heard the whole story behind the building, which gave the place an even more haunting vibe.

Without delving too deep into its background, it suffices to say, many animals met their end here.

The idea for my installation came to me immediately, once I’d seen the place. I took on the challenge of working with quite a bit of space. The area I decided to install the Artwork in was about 21m2 and about 5 meters high.
Hanging an installation on site can always bring unexpected issues along,  therefore I decided to start building it three days in advance, buying me some time to solve any obstacles.

While I was in the process of creating the hanging segments of my installation piece, I realized I needed more impact besides transforming the space. I needed to incorporate it’s essence into the artwork. That is why the combined segments are hung from existing structures in the building. These lend itself to the installation as if they had always been a part of each other.

To take it a step further I came up with the concept of employing the wall in the background to further stress that Artwork and environment are meant to be one. The Artwork sort of grows naturally from the building; they seem to breathe life into one another, recalling the events that make up the history of the locale.

On a final note - The exhibition had a great premiere as well on the night before it was released to the public. A gathering of all (50!) Artists right in our barn with an opening word from the Mayor. Bring on the next challenge!

An Experiment in Textile

With the new year upon us I thought it was time for a new post. Preparations for working on a new installation often take up a large portion of my time usually requiring research, color studies and material testing. 
All ideas start somewhere and many of my concepts are formed during research. That means making stops to the library for hard to find books, visiting exhibitions or going on a  trip out in the wild. Remember, inspiration takes many shapes.
When I tackle a project I always aim to bring something new to the table while trying to stay true to the core elements of my designs. Art needs to evolve, especially when one of the central themes of my work revolves around Organic Growth. Whilst it can feel safe and comforting to remain within a certain kind of Crafting, I feel an Artist is never done exploring. Stepping out of that zone might be scary but the pay-off is bound to be worth it.