Clouddwellers, an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Anya Janssen, is on view at TORCH Gallery in Amsterdam starting Thursday, 7 May 2021. These works are a celebration of the beauty that can be found in the temporary nature of existence. Janssen has made a series of intimate portraits of her students, a group of young adults who, in her eyes, represent a hopeful future in a time full of uncertainties. This new generation has not yet been confronted much with the harshness of 'real life', is open to everything and is afraid of nothing. This is clearly reflected in how they present themselves: full of confidence and averse to restrictions.
Apparently, Stalin has said of Boris Pasternak: "Leave him alone, he is a cloud-dweller." This way the writer was saved from execution because the dictator did not take him seriously, while his novel Doctor Zhivago would later prove to have an enormous influence on the worldwide image of the Soviet regime. Anya Janssen applies the term cloud-dweller to her students at the ArtEZ art academy in Arnhem, where she has been teaching since 2004. They too may seem like dreamers with their heads in the clouds, but they do possess a 'soft force' that can change the world.