Maen Florin: Strange Paradise is on view at ISELP, Brussels
September 29 – December 2, 2023
ISELP Brussels presents “Strange Paradise,” a monographic exhibition by Maen Florin. The sculptor reveals her past and recent creations, featuring impressive colored ceramics. “Strange Paradise” takes the form of a large installation centered on the theme of life. The music of Catherine Graindorge, one of Maen Florin’s sources of inspiration, accompanies the artworks in one of the rooms. Additionally, the film “Reclaiming Vision” by artists Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen, which explores microscopic life, is presented in dialogue with the exhibition.
The exhibition offers a look at a part of the artist’s body of work and its evolution: from her dolls made from recycled materials to her trophies with human heads and up to her large polychrome ceramic sculptures.
Maen Florin’s compositions result from the union of various fragments. In “Strange Paradise,” hybrid beings and anthropomorphic plants come together within a new and diverse ecosystem. Plant, animal, and human species meet and interact, reminiscent of a futuristic oasis where the symbiosis between these categories becomes possible. In resonance with this vast installation, a playlist composed from the album “Eldorado” (2021) by Brussels-based violinist Catherine Graindorge (BE) is played in one of the exhibition rooms.
In dialogue with “Strange Paradise,” the film “Reclaiming Vision” by artists Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen is also presented. This creation, captured through an optical microscope, features a varied cast made up of microorganisms taken from the brackish waters inside the Oslo fjord and several algae cultivated at the University of the Norwegian capital.
Maen Florin (1954, BE) lives and works in Schelderode, near Ghent. She studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Antwerp and the Sint Lucas Hogeschool. In recent years, Maen Florin has increasingly produced larger-than-life ceramic works shaped directly in clay and painted with glaze. As an artist, she is strongly motivated by the creative process in which intuition, chance, and material interact. Her work has received numerous awards been exhibited in Belgium and abroad in solo and group shows, including the BPS22 in Charleroi (2022), the Enghien Biennial (2022), the Aardenburg Arts Festival (NL, 2022), the Beaufort Belgian Coast Triennial (2021), Keramis-centre de la Céramique in La Louvière (2019), the MHKA in Antwerp (2017). She has also created several works of art for public spaces, the most recent of which is Pacific, an installation of twenty-one monumental ceramic sculptures specifically designed for the fountain on Place Royale in Nantes as part of Le voyage à Nantes (2023).
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Photos © JJ Sérol