Mirjam Veldhuis: Holes made, 2022
It is the actual handling of clay that keeps me going, and the sheer endless variety of features and finishes that belongs to the world of ceramics. As in a good relationship, I deeply respect the characteristics and qualities of clay. There is, however, a third party involved—the viewer.
In my quest to captivate my audience I let clay truly work as an interface. In my sculptures traces of the making process are almost always visible; the familiar and the undefined often strive for primacy. References to landscape and bodily motives can be found, without them ever becoming literal images. People are often drawn to my sculptures and tempted to touch and stroke them. As one visitor confessed: “I know I’m not supposed to, but I touched all the trunks and put my finger in every hole.” Or even more primal: “I want to lick them!”
In Holletje gemaakt (Holes made), the series of sculptures that I am working on now, I explore the super dry quality of engobe surfaces. On a more sculptural level, it is mass versus volume or transparency, closedness versus opening up in form or space, holes made… “What is living in there?”, my cousin asked.
Mirjam Veldhuis, July 2022