HS Projects, in collaboration with l’étrangère, is delighted to present ‘A Waking Dream’, an exhibition of works by Rotterdam-based artist Jan Eric Visser and Brussels-based artist Tatiana Wolska.
The exhibition, inspired by John Keats’ poem ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, explores ideas around themes of nature, transience and finitude and references environmental and ecological concerns, such as the climate crisis, waste, resource depletion and overconsumption.
Visser is known for creating abstract sculptures using his personal everyday inorganic household waste. Since 1987 he has been exploring an ecologically driven aesthetic respectful of earth’s resources and the cycle of nature and life. His sculptures are the result of a meditative process, creating new shapes by assembling waste materials and wrapping them in recycled paper pulp. Once impregnated with wax, such as votive candle residue, and softly polished, the objects take on a new identity.
Visser’s sculptures often take the form of enigmatic figures, hovering mysteriously somewhere between humanoid and abstract while the crates, which are an integral part of his work, have been referred to as ‘unique boxes made by himself that fit ‘like a second skin’ and evoke a new birth” (Kees Rood, A Way of Life, of 1996).
Describing herself a ‘junk collector’, Wolska uses found, often discarded industrial waste materials such as plastic bottles, salvaged timber, rusty nails and foam from old mattresses and ‘gives them a new life’. She transforms these humble materials into seductive poetic, biomorphic sculptures which often confront or enter into a dialogue with the environment and architecture.
Wolska’s work acts to remind us of our responsibility to consider our consumption, the materials we waste and the long-term impact of our behaviour on our planet. An economy of means and simplicity of gesture are the foundation of her sculptural work. Her slow and painstaking practice sublimates the simplicity of the materials—recycled waste materials, always—in order to bring out their poetry.
The exhibition has been supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands.
‘A Waking Dream’ is at Howick Place from December 2021 to June 2022.