LUCIE HAVEL

v i s u a l . a r t i s t

ABOUT


As a person and as an artist I am fascinated by the way humans relate to nature. A few years ago, this became the main focus of my work. The first expression of this interest was my fascination with the rites and deities of tribes that do not hold the dichotomous belief system of humans versus nature.                                                                                                                    

 

On the work space, this translates into experimenting with my use of materials. My artworks are the residue of these experiments.

These works about materiality raise a variety of questions about functionality, transformation, religion and ecology. Those questions represent the basis of my work. I tend to concentrate on one of these questions for each series I make.

For example the series The Religion of Complexity for which I dug into ordinary objects, their function and their ability to transform.This series tells the story of our hunger for complex artifacts whose side effect  is to diminish our action radius. This project is also a pre-doomed trial to get materials (like plastic packaging) into a circular system by robbing them of their function. For example by melting plastic into another object, you change the use of the material, but you will never be able to get it back to its the raw state.


Over the last ten years I have changed my art practice and stopped using traditional art materials for ecological reasons. It is for that reason that I started to seek materials in my direct surroundings. In a later phase, all chemical components like glue and epoxy were declared a taboo in my studio.

Since I made the series The Sacredness of Poverty I solely use what colleagues drop at my door or what I find on the roads. The most common materials are the organic kind, closely followed by plastic packaging and beverage cans. The yard around my studio, a former school building, is a source of materials since the neighbours consider it to be a free dumping ground.

During this whole process, the work named Shelter was a real milestone and the basework for the serie The Sacredness of Poverty. Shelter emerged from a pile of trash, that itself was the result of the cleanup of my studio.


“In the direct surrounding of the artist you will find the artwork”

Transformation as a subject won importance when I started to dismantle works and reuse them in other settings, like what happened to Shelter. The fact that most of my artworks weren’t glued or covered with a thick layer of epoxy made this step a lot easier. It started to get more and more important to keep the materials true to themself to facilitate the transition from one artwork to the next.

Inspired by other ontologies, like animism, I try to grant materials their own identity. However, the step from an own set of characteristics to an own identity is one that is hard to make in the Western world. Let alone loading (religious) meaning onto artworks like in the series named The Reversed Faith.

 

In 2017 we installed a garden in the former playground of the atelier building, where we grew vegetables and plants we could use in our artistic practice. In the second year of that garden weeds started calling my attention. For me weeds symbolize the successfully untamed and non-functional things. 

This is how I discovered the incredible abilities of a plant named Japanese knotweed.

 

Since 2018 I have attempted to unite the different aspects of my work by working with only one material: Japanese knotweed. This “weed” is to me the perfect example of our relationship with nature. This plant adapts and thrives in all environments due to its biological properties, yet is not appreciated for it. This project, named How i fell in love with the enemy, is a study about the options Japanese knotweed offers when we adapt to it.

            E X H I B I T I O N S  :


2019 - Open Light, in collaboration with CBK Rotterdam, Carla-Bayle fr

2018 - An artic circle, growing installation, Rotterdam

2018 - Of rubble and common ground, Neck of the woods artspace, Goethe instituut Rotterdam (g)

2018 - De aanschouw, Rotterdam, curator Eddy Kaijser

2017 - Route du Nord, one flag, one bag, pop up store, collaboration Rotterdam nl (g)

2017 - Gast at Borgerstraat OPEN STUDIOS, 8/10 feb., Rotterdam

2017 - Roodkaapje Starter 7/8 feb., Rotterdam

2016 - Roodkaapje Winterwolven, Rotterdam, nl (g)

2016 - Free access | No Inside, totaal installation, Neck of the wods,  Rotterdam, nl

2016 - Route du Nord, Rotterdam nl (g)

2016 - Beeldentuin Ravenstein, Heenvliet nl

2015 - The sweet survival, installation, Lislokaal, Rotterdam nl

2014 - Eldorado3000, A positive post-apocalyptic landscape, Rotterdam nl (g)

2013 - Emerging structures, floating sculptures, Schiedam nl

2013 - Route du Nord, Rotterdam nl (g)

2013 - Binnen een straat van 1000 stappen,  Lisplein 5, Rotterdam nl (g)

2013 - RE-Rotterdam art-fair, re-constructing the way back , Rotterdam nl (g)

2012 - Inspiring spirits, galerie Diana lepelaar, Leiden  (g)

2012 - Haigha, La Rochelle fr  (3d g)

2011 - Duo with Isa D’Hondt, curator Marianne Stevens CJK be

2009 - Passer la ligne, short film for museum ruim 1 op 10 Museum Gouda 

2008 - Mes propriétés cacaofabriek. Helmond nl (solo)

2009 - Ma vie materielle Alliance française, Rotterdam nl (solo)

2008 - Corrosia cbk Flevoland, Almere (g)

2007 - 2003 Galerie Unicaat, Geertruidenberg diverse (duo en g)

2001 - 2002 Vasted angels – centre Les chiroux , Luik (g)

2001 - okt. dec Silo in -  artist united , Amsterdam (g)    



            G R A N T S  :


2019 - O&O, research and devellopement grant, CBK Rotterdam