• In Short
  • Installation art
  • Spatial

Anna J. van Stuijvenberg

‘mastery and proliferation’

Trees reflect time. A cross section of a trunk tells researchers everything about the earth and its history. In the bark and annual rings, the traces of periods of abundance and scarcity, ice ages, floods and forest fires are drawn. The anatomy of the wood is an archive of birth, flowering, natural disasters and battles, of life and death, but perhaps even more a transcription of the capacity to grow again after death and destruction have dealt it a merciless blow.

Brutally pruned branches give rise to new shoots, fallen forest giants allow offspring to rise from their crushed bodies, wounded trunks bear their fate and fuse into twisted but powerful muscle tissue. Trees embody the alliance between vitality and injury, creation and destruction, life and death.

Anna J. van Stuijvenberg is interested in places where human intervention, nature and wilderness coexist as a matter of course. These places are recorded with a camera, after which van Stuijvenberg translates the photographs into monumental installations. Intuitively and in an organized way, she cuts up often rigid and laborious material into a layered and almost graphic landscape that is on the cutting edge of control and sprawl.

With her installations, she aims to create a place where viewers can once again coincide with their surroundings. Her landscapes are grand and impressive but also open-worked, almost fragile, as if one could touch an ancient spirit. Their power lies in the firm and at the same time subtle way in which the spectator is tugged out of his orbit, towards a universe in which control and wilderness, decay and growth, man and nature touch each other again.

(text C. Samsom)