DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA: New Exhibition in Provinciehuis van Noord Holland
Visual arts and sustainability meet in the new Dreef exhibition DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA from 29 March, curated by curator Aart van der Kuijl. There are installations, soft sculptures, tapestry and objects by Margot Berkman and Pieter W. Postma, and paintings by Naomi Mitsuko Makkelie.
The exhibition is subtitled THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PHOTOSYNTHESE. Algae play an essential role in this. More than 50% of the oxygen production in our atmosphere is caused by photosynthesis of algae, such as plankton, algae and kelp forests. The three artists are inspired by the richly varied marine flora and refer directly or indirectly to this in their art.
On Friday 29 March, Jack van der Hoek, Deputy of Culture and Sustainability, will open the exhibition at 5 p.m. Art lovers are cordially invited to be present. After this, the exhibition can be viewed until 3 May on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Paviljoen Welgelegen, Dreef 3 in Haarlem. Entrance is free.
Appendix: background information DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA
The title of the exhibition refers to the song by Sam Cooke – “What a Wonderful World.” The works of the three Dutch artists focus on the wonderful world of water around us, and its significance for the ecosystem. Algae are not only important for oxygen production. They are also gaining in value for the food industry and science. For example, seaweed is full of minerals.
About the artists:
Margot Berkman: her greatest source of inspiration is the sea. She investigates the longing for this, the depths of the underwater world and makes discoveries during her daily beach walks. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan, all the seaweed in that area died. As we know, seaweed provides oxygen in the air. Algae and algae are the lungs of the world. She processes her research in all kinds of materials: drawings, bronze objects and sculptures, but also in soft sculptures such as hanging spatial carpets.
The paintings by Naomi Mitsuko Makkelie are about thinking about the meaning, ethics and value of immortality, and how the future and the past influence each other on a historical, cultural and scientific level. Events can only be viewed as “good” or “bad” if they are viewed in the context of a certain point in time. An incident can be considered good at a certain moment and bad in a subsequent period. In the paintings of Makkelie, those notions of good and bad do not exist, because it is impossible to determine whether an event is positive or negative in the present.
Pieter W. Postma is first and foremost a gifted storyteller. His stories extend to other worlds than ours. To parallel universes, populated by surrealistic apparitions. They explore each other and our universe, using often brightly colored vehicles and vessels or more abstract objects. Postma shows them to us, as individual artifacts in a contemporary Wunderkammer. In his images and installations he combines hard with soft materials. The surrealistic means of transport are mainly made up of wood, polyester, textiles and metals. The figures, rocket sailors and sea creatures, their suits and masks, are made from rubbers, (artificial) leather and other fabrics.
Atelier Margot Berkman has been commissioned by the City of Amstelveen to realize a large work of art in the public area for the Keizer Karelplein in Amstelveen. The research for the preliminary design has started and will be presented to the residents. The artwork will be placed in the second half of 2019.
I received a touching letter about The Ocean Breathes-Sealight from Mrs. de Vos, and she gave permission to share it with you..
Dear Mrs. Berkman,
I have been coming to the Oncology Center of the Spaarne Gasthuis in Hoofddorp very regularly since April. And from the end of July in the Anthony van Leeuwenhoek section (on the ground floor) to undergo radiation for breast cancer.
I did not notice your artwork “The Ocean Breathes” in the Oncology Centre, but since my radiotherapy I do. I always look up, while sitting at the reading table and waiting for my turn. It’s really beautiful and the artwork gives me energy, especially because it has to do with seaweed. I myself am a lover of seaweed, to take it in my hands and play with the long strings and to let them move through the wind. Formerly on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and the last years in Sweden on the island of Ljusterö, where the nature reserve Langnö is. So beautiful and still.
Thank you for your comfort and future perspective through “The Ocean Breathes”.
Mrs. M. de Vos (83 years)
I wrote her …
Dear Mrs. de Vos,
Thank you for the beautiful words and the photo of Langnö. I don’t know that place but it looks wonderful and soothing. It is so nice to hear that my artwork gives a beautiful, powerful energy, just where you need it most: while waiting for a treatment. The artwork ‘The Ocean breathes – Sealight’ was installed in May of this year.
If you want to send me your postal address, I will send you a postcard of the artwork. I wish you a lot of strength with the treatment and that you heal completely !
A sweet sea greeting,