Brussels gallery Kavan Ronsey is exhibiting the works of Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, an artistic team from The Netherlands. The exhibition is entitled Eb (“low tide”) and is about the aesthetics of natural water and its traces in the landscape. Elements of raw nature of the Dutch Wadden Sea area are “trapped” in various items, including ceramics, organic fabrics and polyester panels.
In search of the character of the Wadden Sea, Maarten and Guus projected the natural behavior of the sea onto the production process of porcelain. They say, “The tidal behavior of the sea is comparable to the production of ceramics; it’s a flow of clay and water repeating its process every 12 hours.”
The Vloed (“high tide”) plates reflect the aesthetics of the instability of life. The artists state, “Walking along the coast and through the mud we found the darker side of sea life: Drifting seaweeds and rotting fish and birds. . . In the end all will flow and disappear in the sea again.” The plates have different types of oxides and glaze, such as copper and cobalt. By preparing the glazes on top of the actual plate, the image partially washes itself away.
The Modder (“mud”) cups are inspired by the artists’ very dirty boots after visiting the Wadden Sea. The cups are decorated by colored porcelain dust made with various oxides.
Avifauna combines nature and textile in a series of abstract birds, where the plumage is replaced by a translation in fabric.
The Herbaria pieces are inspired by seaweeds that the duo found drifting and flowing through the Wadden Sea. Here, they aimed to “catch this moment and bring it home,” using polyester and pigments.
The Vis (“fish”), have been woven with two types of yarns that have very different characteristics: one transports water very well, and the other transports water very badly. By letting the print spread, the weave of the cloth becomes very visible and accentuates the colors of the ink.
The linen Visserij (“fishery”) cloths are printed with a graphic pattern determined by a computer program that converted water pictures into design. The satin weave causes the horizontal flowing of ink, an effect reminiscent of an ikat textile.