"scARTi" a Roma, Lay Centre, aprile 2010

When WASTE is not WASTED

Waste always tells a story, a story of mankind. During her walks along the Italian beaches - it really could have been any beach - the artist Riekie van Velzen was inspired by the variety of waste abandoned by mankind on the beaches or returned by the sea. To express her discomfort she collected samples, from broken dolls and a rusty bike to toilet seats, which then were catalogued and transformed from mere material visions into ethereal matter. Through this process of ironic sublimation, the artist wants us to reflect on our relationship with the environment, as she has done.
Still-life risks being lifeless, dead (“natura morta”). It takes 500 years for plastic to decompose, 250 years for a drinks can, 5 years for a simple cigarette and 1000 years for polystyrene.
Last month Riekie was invited by the mayor of San Benedetto del Tronto (Marche) to show her “scARTi“ exhibition in a 1930’s villa by the sea. The regional Waste Management and Recycling Services, which sponsored the event, encouraged many schools from the region to visit the exhibition. Today a few pieces of this show are presented at the Lay Centre’s new location.
Riekie van Velzen’s art work ranges from ancient painting techniques, such as “writing” icons, to digital graphics.
In addition to being an artist, Henrica (Riekie) van Velzen is a mother, a grandmother, and also co-founder and administrator of the Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas.

Rome, April 2010

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art piece of the month

art piece of the month
Balthus, mediterranean cat, 1949, private collection