The Living Creature exhibition

curated by Jessy Rahman + Sonja van Kerkhoff, 1999


Setting up the exhibition
left to right: Jessy Rahman, Geeske Harting,
Jacqueline Wassen, Wim van Egmond,
Sonja van Kerkhoff, Joke van Stuijvenberg,
and Tamatea.
The hanging pompoms are by Sarah Buist.
EMCO, a London-based performance artist, had the idea to create a festival of performance as part of the annual Bermondsey Carnival in Southwark Park, London, U.K., and invited me to participate.

InterAction evolved into a series of performances and installations by 25 European-based artists in and around the park and the Cafe Gallery over a five-day period in May 1999. More about InterAction

I decided to invite a number of others to work with me because I was interested in creating a sense of 'community' through performance, rather than an act made by one individual.


The Living Creature became a project involving 2 performances, one in the marquee, the other in the rose gardens, and an installation in the Cafe Gallery.

Exhibition in the Cafe Gallery, May 27th - 31st, 1999

See an introduction about each of the artists on the exhibition webpage.



Sarah Buist hung about 30 huge pompoms from the ceiling around the entrance to 'The Living Creature' exhibition space.

Sonja hung her work Big Ones, two transparencies of larger than life-size children on the outside of the two windows.

Left to Right: work by, Geeske Harting (on the wall), Jessy Rahman (hanging form), Jacqueline Wassen (black form on the floor), Sonja van Kerkhoff (window), Sarah Buist (hanging pompoms), Jessy Rahman (green hanging form), and Joke van Stuijvenberg (dress form on wall next to the doorway and plaster pieces on the floor).


Underneath this Jacqueline made a black vinyl shadow on the floor in a form corresponding to one of the children in the window, but she reversed it so that it seemed as if the shadow was running out of the space in the opposite direction to the motionless child.

Click on this image for a better view of Jacqueline's work.  

Left to right: work by, Geeske Harting (small figure shapes on the wall), Jacqueline Wassen (black form on the floor), Wim van Egmond (on wall inside the doorway), and Joke van Stuijvenberg (dress form on wall next to the doorway and plaster pieces on the floor).

Click on this image for a better view of Jacqueline's work. Then click the "x" on the top right to close that window.

Work by Geeske and Sonja
Left to right: "Big Ones" transparencies by Sonja van Kerkhoff, in each of the two windows. Painted shapes on the wall are by Geeske Harting. Her self-portrait is mostly obscured by the visitor.


On the wall between the two windows, Geeske arranged paintings on shaped card of a toy figure around a detail of a painting of her face.

The full-bodied figurines contrasted with her intense face which was cut off by the borders of the rectangular painting. The figurines seemed to have escaped (from their context or from a "painting").


Detail of work by

Sonja van Kerkhoff (window) and
Sarah Buist (hanging pompoms).


One of the "Big Ones"
transparencies in
one of the two windows.

These were images of two children caught in action or in posing. You can see the leaves and branches of the trees in the garden which moved in contrast to the frozen image of each child.  




Detail of work by
Sarah Buist (hanging pompoms)
Wim van Egmond (image of a micro-organism on the wall)
and Sonja van Kerkhoff (windows).


3-D photo-images of a micro-organisms by Wim van Egmond (on the wall on left and under the bench). Detail of Sarah Buist's pompoms. Two soft hanging forms by Jessy Rahman and his 'Dishes in the kitchen' on the kitchen back wall.



Wim makes photographs, videos, installations and performances connecting science and art, with a focus on the microcosm. He placed numerous small 3-D images of the micro and insect world in the door well, in corners, and low along the walls. 3-D glasses were available on a table at the entrance so people could see the creatures come out of odd nooks and crannies.

Joke painted the form of a black dress on the wall and then chipped this out, leaving the black and white chips on the floor in front of hollowed out relief.


Left to right
A 3-D photo-image of a spider by Wim van Egmond. Joke van Stuivenberg chipping a thin layer of plaster from the wall.

Left to right
'Small Ones' by Sonja van Kerkhoff (in black frames),
Wim van Egmond (12 3-D images of a micro-organisms along a diagonal),
'Dishes in the kitchen' by Jessy Rahman (painted paper plates on back wall), Hanging cloth form (red and green) by Jessy Rahman,
Insect form, 3-D photo by Wim van Egmond (in corner).
and detail of 'Big Ones' by Sonja van Kerkhoff (window).

Jessy makes paintings, installations and performances with a connection to the processes and reactions that take place within a cell or an organism. He hung two soft cloth forms based on enlarged micro-organisms. He then painted colourful images of micro-organisms onto white paper plates, 'Dishes in the kitchen'. These were hung along the wall in the kitchenette around the clock and water heater. People had to walk into the kitchen to get a closer look at these fine art 'dishes' on throw away dinnerware.

'Small Ones', by Sonja were two tiny photographic images, hung opposite the two window lit images of children. One showed a child's hand and the other a child's foot. Both limbs had been partly coloured in with a black felt pen and were surrounded by texts relating to self-awareness. These tiny 'still-lifes' were constantly in shadowed by Jessy's hanging forms.


Detail: 'Dishes in the kitchen' by Jessy Rahman.


Small Ones by Sonja van Kerkhoff shadowed by work by Jessy Rahman. Part of a row of drawings by Wim van Egmond are on the floor on the left.


Detail of one of the Small Ones images
(More about this work).

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