Artist Spotlight: Marloes Staal

“Come in, grab a blanket and get comfortable.” Marloes’ studio space is a rainbow. These are stacks of blankets collected from the homes of many people in Holland, each with their own personal history. Her resourceful mother assisted her in the project by putting an ad in the local newspaper. Much to her surprise, Marloes was smothered with responses. When asked why blankets, Marloes explains that they are representative of basic human desires. An everyday comfort, taken for granted, until I entered this conversation: a reflection of appreciation with the artist.

We delve into what else makes us comfortable. The warmth of a blanket, the beauty of a landscape. For Marloes in particular, it is the ability to express herself creatively and the freedom to practice this with a nomadic lifestyle. Growing up she was surrounded by artistically inclined people; her grandfather always fixing things and working with metal, her grandmother always creating. “Making is a natural human activity, a way in which we respond to the materials of the earth” – an activity which she exorcises, explores and exploits in detail. Her creations are built in response to her travels; the location, it’s history and the atmosphere and emotion which are provoked.  

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Leipzig holds a rich industrial history. Evident in the landscape of crumbling mills and old transportation track lines. Enschede, Holland (Marloes’ home town) boasts a similar history. The artist naturally became interested in the Industrial Revolution as a stamp of the term “man vs.nature”. A term which has encouraged an ocean of discourse. Marloes explains that for her this term is an unrealistic binary. Herself and many philosophers strive to encourage the understanding that humans are part of nature. There is no separation. We are part of the ongoing cycle of evolution.

Hyperreal depictions of rocks were created in ceramics and textiles, and laid on the collected blankets. Each of them, prints of rocks from the local scenery. I pick one of them up. It looks small and light, but weighed enough to make my jaw drop in shock. This one was brought from Marloes’ previous residency in Scotland. Here she learnt how to create art work in an iron foundry. I am enlightened by Marloes adventures and ability to explore many avenues and possibilities of creation. Her skills cover a variety of techniques and processes.

Where to next? After the residency at Pilotenkueche, Marloes will hold exhibition in Enschede. This exhibition will document a conversation between the industrial histories which both locations share, and the common scars which they display. Before that, she plans to install a sculpture at the Fast Kotzen exhibition. Come and see what she creates!

written by Ciara Brown


Unfinished Hase

15 Feb – 23 Feb 2019
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany