The way people treat wild nature is a staple in Catinka Kersten’s visual art. In 2018 she made the soft sculpture Drie olifanten,commissioned by Tweetakt. She made three life-sized cloth elephants, which she lay across the floor of a bunker space. Children could cuddle the animals, lie down in them or jump around. It made the animals’ stuffing flatten, as a symbolic smothering in the children’s love for animals.
This year Kersten is focusing on her own species, creating a concrete construction out of human figures. What’s more: she herself was the model for these human figures. Out of a fascination with architecture, she discovered the past glory of ornamentation, i.e. the study of decorative elements on buildings. In the past, an ornament would tell you what a building was for, but along the way they were placed solely to embellish a building or to make it look historic and valuable.
Kersten challenged herself to make a sculpture consisting only of ornaments, each with its own significance. But where to begin, in an age where so much is going on? The elegance of the muses from ancient history is nowhere to be found in this contemporary temple. Let’s hope the next generation will be more thoughtful in the way they treat the planet.
Catinka Kersten graduated from the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (KABK) in The Hague in 2013. In 2014 she received the stipend Werkbijdrage Jong Talent from the Mondriaan Fonds and in 2018 she was nominated for the Victoriefondscultuurprijs, in the Alkmaar region.