Nature, spirituality, natural forces. BLISS is the name of the new exhibition at Rademakers Gallery in which various artists and designers are inspired by these themes. Ancient rituals and symbols are mixed with contemporary stories and techniques. BLISS makes us think about our relationship with nature and the value of spirituality - in the past, now and in the future.
In addition to well-known names such as Joana Schneider and Tomáš Libertíny, Pien Rademakers selected for this exhibition a few artists of the new generation, like forest ecologist and visual artist Milah van Zuilen, who brings art and environmental science together.
While for Tomáš Libertíny the relationship between man andnature, both psychological and physical, serves as a constant source of inspiration. The artist often works together with nature, whereby its beauty and intelligence fuels his work.
Sentinel Revisited (2021) is such an ode to nature and the mysteries that drive life to exist, thrive and prosper. This monumental sculpture is inspired by honeybees, their architecture and intuitive craftmanship. As the title suggests Sentinel Revisited, produced in a small edition, touches upon the famous Arthur Clarke’s short story Sentinel of Eternity (1951). The beacon of light and colour emerges as a familiar form found in nature that is in a continual state of growth and change. It is an antidote to these times. It wants us to slow down and take a deep breath. Then the rest will follow. Libertíny also shows his ongoing Bluescapes series of works on paper, wood and canvas using BiC ink. The power of its unique blue color in the Bluescapes works give us the feeling of being overwhelmed by space and nature.
For his objects and sculptures Jorge Mañes Rubio uses materials such as unfired clay, glass beads, nylon thread, acrylic, shiny foil, hair extensions, sand, wood, pigment, cotton, gemstones, and minerals. In doing so, he expresses his ideas about humanity's relationship with the universe and all beings that inhabit it - human, non-human, material and spiritual.
His experiences working with shamans in Korea and Mexico led to the series of works he created during his artist-in-residence at the European Space Agency and will be part of BLISS.
His statement: “We are aggressively exploiting people, the earth, and the raw materials and one day people will also move into space. Spread across the solar system, will they also colonize the moon and Mars? “
That statement sparked a thought-provoking TED talk in which he asks what we take with us on this spatial journey. And more importantly, what do we leave behind? Shall we leave our prejudices and the capitalist model behind and take on a journey our cultural diversity, rituals and spirituality that give meaning to our lives? Culture gives us a reason to exist, also in the future. He believes that the artifacts that carry science, art and rituals form a bridge to the unknown world because of their recognizable human quality. As Mañes Rubio experienced with the Mexican shaman, Mañes Rubio uses a combination of science, art, and rituals with which he tries to redefine our future. In his sculptural objects and statues, he speculates with the idea of restoring legends, myths and spiritual powers that were once present in the lives of Europe's early ancestors.
In a different way product designer and artist, Jule Cats is fascinated by the - spiritual - stories materials carry with them. In her objects, she searches for the emotional value and beauty of materials that usually go unnoticed or are seen as worthless, such as rubble from demolished buildings.
By combining concrete remains from the demolished houses with acrylic resin, she creates handmade, limited editions of interior objects in which she preserves its history and gives the material a new life. The objects, such as vases and lamps, show the beauty of the waste product, they evoke wonder and curiosity and literally offer us food for thought.
At the BLISS exhibition, Cats will show four new 'In Disguise' vases and four 'Rise' lamps in new color variations. She also shows a new sculptural light as well as a lilac 'Flow' mirror, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also has a spiritual starting point.
For this collection made from recycled mirrors, natural minerals and acrylic resin, Cats searched for the perfect reflection. Inspired by these mirrors, she wondered to what extent memories and time can be controlled. Cats considers mirrors to be time capsules because so much time and stories are stored in the material. By using recycled mirrors, Flow says something about the many reflections that have been before ours and that many more will come. The new collection visualizes letting go of time and lets us move along with its whimsical, undulating shapes.
Catalijn Wouters uses her intuition and shows her spiritual experiences and a high degree of sensitivity while working on her painted works on paper and linen. “When I turn off my thoughts, reason and expectations are gone, and I am free. When I research, experiment and sketch without a plan, when I capture something with my brush and remove it, when I cut and paste, the most beautiful things happen,” she says.
For BLISS Wouters makes four large works on paper measuring 1 x 1.40 meters. She will also show a new box with drawings and paintings in which she incorporates her spiritual experiences.
As she vividly remembers when she was twelve years old, she climbed, all alone, the steps of an enormous rock. When she reached the top, she found herself face to face with the wild ocean. For her, that was the first spiritual experience at a young age. She felt that there was something bigger than herself that empowers her and that she is a part of. Thus, spirituality is the key to the infinite subconscious. “When I work, something takes over and that feeling is magical. Like I'm not there. Not in a dramatic sense, but precisely in the sense of being absorbed into something bigger.”