Gaia

by Sonja van Kerkhoff, 2016

Outdoor textile sculpture by Sonja van Kerkhoff

Outdoor textile sculpture by Sonja van Kerkhoff
120 x 120 cm, nylon curtain and thread.

Outdoor textile sculpture by Sonja van Kerkhoff

Outdoor textile sculpture by Sonja van Kerkhoff

  Outdoor textile sculpture by Sonja van Kerkhoff


In Greek mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth, the ancestral mother of all life or the primal Mother Earth goddess.

Here she floats in the negative space of a curtain or veil so that her form is created by what we see through the curtain: trees, leaves, plants. This work is a play on negative and positive space as well a play on the foreground and background, but also a reminder to look through or beyond the material. This personification of nature, a woman of leaves and branches, is also a reminder of our connections with the natural world, which in turn affects the way we read or see nature.

Sonja van Kerkhoff, born and raised in Aotearoa | New Zealand, moved to The Netherlands in 1989 at the age of 29. She has a diploma of Fine Arts (printmaking) from the Dunedin School of Visual Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts equivalent from the Maastricht School of Visual Arts. Her sculptures, videos, performances and installations cross and mix a wide range of media in works which shift ambiguously between abstraction and ideas. Gaia's form, clearly female but abstracted, refers to the Venus of Willondorf, and raises the question of what should a fertility goddess or mother nature image look like because she all hips and no breast. A lace curtain both conceals and reveals and here one could also ask if the viewer is standing inside or outside of an implied 'nature home' space. See sonjavank.com for more about her work.

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