Installations

Who Carries, from the series Grosse Geister (Female), studio view 2021

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The sculptures I make undergo transitions towards totally new works, to images with different layers of meaning. This is not a chronological process. It just happens. It started and it will not stop. I question and address ingrained notations of identity, sexuality, gender roles, ethnicity and social backgrounds. The traces of previous images remain visible in the new images.
Together, all the sculptures form a family with a long history and future expectations. Together, they reveal the now, where we are now. This connecting of the diversity and stratification of the human being and his or her environment is my mission. I make it visible in the small and the large, in installations in which many figures in different dimensions participate.

We are family.

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The Entry, [a parade in after covid times], detail first try-out, installation porcelain stoneware textile,
IJsberg Damme, BE 2021

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The Entry, [a parade in after covid times], detail first try-out, installation porcelain stoneware textile,
IJsberg Damme, BE 2021

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Once… [Sapiens], installation, 12×2.2x 0.3 m photowork on mirror, sculpture
The prints show previous sculptures made with the present sculpture. Anningahof, Zwolle, 2021

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Once…(Sapiens), installation Anningahof, Zwolle NL 2021

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HOME, installation with modelair ceramics, studio view, 350x120x220cm 2021

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Model moulds, porcelain plaster moulds ties, installation view, Sundaymorning@EKWC, Oisterwijk, NL 2021

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The coat of my Sister II, installation, 50x50x220cm, Testcase, @EKWC Oisterwijk, NL2021

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NO Dreamtime, installation former hospital church, Stadsfestival Damme 2019
Curator Jan Moeyaert

The installation No Dreamtime consists of three parts. On the Altar, the ongoing painting of the darkest day, is ‘painted’ with 24 unseeing figures. Along the edge, they stand swaddled in gold and silk, celebrating their position, ignorant of the depth in front of them. The clothes drip from the altar. Only the white shirt has lasted for generations, an heirloom.
The sculpture, Icarus Flip Bacchus, floats in front, above the graves, and also literally mirrors the back of man.
Finally, assembled from various materials, the horse spins on its axis, the vulnerable Not Bambi: It’s About Balance.

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Icarus flip Bacchus, 2019

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Walking up and down through life, Mirror Mirror, instalation @ BIG Art NL, each panel 41x200cm, 30 meter  curator Anne van der Zwaag, 2019

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Don’t look away, Installation Extended studio II Watou, BE 2019 

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Don’t look away, Installation Extended studio II, Watou, BE 2019

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The extended Studio I, Day 7 @Art Chapel, Amsterdam, NL 2019

In 2019, I built a series of installations, entitled Extended Studio.
These exhibitions were not static, but changed, preferably daily. The studio practice thus became public. For example, at Amsterdam’s Art Chapel, there was an opening every evening. During the day I continued to work on the installations. New works emerged. There were reactions from visitors each night, and I shared the sculptures on social media. For me, there were the extraordinary encounters and conversations.
The speed of the working process and the temporary use of the exhibition space – just one week – created a crazy work flow. I might have divined the starting point and one or two steps further beforehand, but then there came that special chemistry where images flow from your hands of their own accord. Looking back, they turned out to be incredibly to the point, and to enter into a powerful dialogue with each other.

Stijn van Santen filmed this in a fine documentary. See https://youtu.be/PhM_NhaGptc

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Day 3

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Day 2 @Art Chapel

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Day 1 @Art Chapel

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                                                              Insight Out, print on mirror , OLV Abbey, Oosterhout, NL 2017


Two photograph’s are hanging at the gate showing the secret world within the finally monastery. On the outside wall of the monastery 9 billboards are showing the hidden world within. The paper slowly eroded, the monastery life became a secret again.

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                          Have you seen Her?,  A sculpture on the move at different locations 2016-17

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                                                                        In search of the connection, 2010
The photographs show the series that I made during a journey through Iran, in search for the beginning of “our” civilization, I photographed landscapes where history was made. The mountains where I photographed “Valley of Alamut” were once the territory of the Assacijnen. The English word assassin comes from them so this does not say a lot for their practices. The routes of Kings run through the country, used yearly by Darius and his courtiers. He traveled three different routes. Skies, and figures from Persian paintings, point to their knowledge of both Chinese and Flemish paintings. Iran was on the crossroads of east and west at the time of the silk route, when not only goods but knowledge was exchanged. Open source. There is not a lot in the landscapes that gives any indication of this history, I have therefore placed “landmarks” to make these places special. 
 finally all the works of this series will come together in this installation. A map of Iran combined with text will be written on the wall. The text in the installation is a mix of personal observations and historical facts

 

                                  Opening exhibition Vloedmerk te Heemskerk, NL 2004
participating artists ; David Bade, Marieke Bolhuis, Tom Claassen, Piet Hein Eek, Nikki van Es, Barbara Guldenaar, Danielle Kwaaitaal, Regina Maria Muller, Herbert Nouwens, Zeger Reijers, Paul Vendel, Radboud Wanders.

 ii( for Munch, Daniels and Friedrich ), diasec 1.40x4m, 2004
collection Ministry of Foreign Affairs embassy Washington D.C.

                                               On pearls and seafoam, Oerol, Terschelling, NL 2000
An installation in three elements, made of buoys with figures (polyester) 280 cm, 150 cm, 90 cm on them. They are arranged in perspective, with the largest in front, making the sea seem even more infinite.Three spheres, each with a figure dancing in the surf, are tossed from side to side, up and down. At high tide, the current tries to set them down on the shore, and at low tide, it takes them back to sea again. But the spheres are anchored, so it doesn’t work – they never touch down on land. They are pearls in sea foam. The figures on the pearls stand in a world of their own. They never reach their goal. They are beautiful and vulnerable, transient. They are foam, froth, intangible and violent.

On Pearls and Seafoam video length: 2 min. Collection Akzo-Nobel foundation 2002

                                                                                  On Pearls and Seafoam 2002
series of 13 photographs edition: 3 photos diasec, 20cm x 30cm collection Akzo-Nobel foundation 

                                         By numbers, electrified wire, poles, calves, ear tags, Zijpe, NL 2000
The calves graze the grass around the ‘anamorphosis’. A long-haired green cow arises from the grass inside, like a shadow image. When the wire is removed, the calves eat their own image in grass. ‘An anamorphose’, or perspective drawing is only fully perceived from a single point.

                  HO HORSE: SLEEP WELL, willow branches, 20m x 30m x 2.5m, Oerol Terschelling, NL 1999
Hoofprints in the sand suggest a presence, a moment in time. They are blown away or buried under the sand, leaving you to guess who passed here, how long ago, how big he was, how heavy….A horse lies resting at the foot of the dune. Is he at the end of his journey (as Tolstoy described in Yardstick)? A black horse, fully stretched out, built up of willow branches that are black or weathered grey. The sand continues to swirl and settle against the horse. Slowly, the horse disappears beneath the sand, eventually to become a new sand dune.The photographs on this page show the wind slowly shifting the horse under the sand, gradually creating a new sand dune.

                                                                               Shopping bag horses, 1998 
A candlelight projection. There are candles in the paper bags. The shape of a horse has been cut out of the bag on the side facing the wall. As the candles flicker, the horses move. The sound of 30 galloping horses, coming and going, going and coming, thunders over you.

Ixion, anamorphose, paint on glass, Vishal,  Haarlem, 1997

Installation for a hotel room, Pulitzer hotel, Amsterdam 1996

Allemaal verknipt II, detail installation, black-light paint, gallery de Expeditie, Amsterdam 1994

Allemaal verknipt I,  Vishal, Haarlem NL 1994

Parachute for a drop out, Paris, 1993

There’s no place, wallpaper on canvas, tire print, painting, Oud-Amelisweerd 1992

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The garden of Atlantis, Oud- Amelisweerd, Bunnik, NL 1991


The Yearning Must be Great,  artist space W139 Amsterdam, NL, 1990

Literature    Bottles Have to Sink      NRC Handelsblad, 11 augustus 2000

‘My attraction to the outdoors is enormous.’ That Marieke Bolhuis makes works of art that are subsequently consumed by nature is something she takes for granted.
By Ine Poppe

Marieke Bolhuis (b.1962) is wearing jodhpurs and riding boots, her long hair blown by the wind. On the island of Terschelling, she had a horse – and a grandfather. She proudly relates that only a couple of years ago, her grandfather drove a car all the way to Amsterdam to visit her. She took him for a trip in a canal boat, where he would get a senior citizen discount. The islander looked so young that he had to show his license. ‘They would not believe that he was in his late ‘80s.’ Since she was small, Marieke Bolhuis has spent all her summer holidays on Terschelling, with her grandparents. She loves working at the edge of the sea, there where the sand dances in the wind before the tide and the sea digs backbones, spinal chords into the beach. 

White ghosts peek out and duck back under the foam. Bolhuis has anchored three white figures in the surf. They are standing on white spheres, in a row, one behind the other. Their size and the distance between the sculptures are impossible to guess. ‘The biggest one first, the smallest one at the end. That way the sea looks even more endless,’ says Bolhuis. The work is entitled, ‘On Pearls and Sea Foam’.

Outdoors

‘I love the city and would not want to live anywhere else, but my attraction to the outdoors is enormous,’ says Bolhuis. ‘My work has gradually moved outdoors. I am interested in what we do with the landscape. Nature brings out that longing.’ She lives in Amsterdam and has since recently had a house out of town, which she uses as a studio. When we drive out there, we stop for a moment to look at her horse. The same horse that she had on Terschelling is now in a farmer’s pasture, a couple hundred yards from her studio. ‘I ride a little every day.’ In her garden, amongst the other garden allotment buildings, she shows a series of photographs of a work she completed on Terschelling a couple of years ago. It is a sleeping horse made of willow branches at the foot of the high dunes, thirty metres long, sixteen metres wide and three metres high. ‘The size of a beached whale.’ Each day, for over a month, she went to the beach with a trailer full of willow branches, collected daily from a sporting club where the trees had been trimmed. The branches were stacked up for as long as it took until the horse was there, its hooves the size of a man. The pile of branches is still there, but it has become another sand dune. The wind and sea have swirled around the horse, drifting the sand. Here and there, some twigs of wood still poke out from the sand.

 After graduating, she exhibited installations at locations that included the Amelisweerd estate near Utrecht and in the Warmoesstraat 139 contemporary art space in Amsterdam. In Amelisweerd, she transformed a room with an installation made by printing a forest on the wallpaper, made with the tracks of automobile, moped and bicycle tyres. In 1991, during the ‘Groentesalon’ (Vegetable Salon) exhibition organised by author Atte Jongstra, she was given the use of the cellar, with the floor covered with water. She lay 500 bottles in the water, filled with paint that reacts to blacklight. In the photographs that remain of the project, you see blue-green, electrified circles bouncing off the water. She called the fluorescent landscape ‘The Garden of Atlantis’. 

Bolhuis talks about her youth in the Gooi region, a half hour east of Amsterdam. She was the daughter of a father who earned his living on seafaring cargo ships. When she drank a bottle of soda, she was never allowed to put the cap back on the bottle, because bottles were thrown overboard and had to be able to sink. At school, she was taught about comparing weights, and that gave her the idea that there must be a layer of the sea where all the bottles of the world must be floating together, a field of glass. 

One of the installations she completed for the Warmoesstraat was a kind of interior garden or courtyard, entitled, ‘The Yearning Must be Great’. She made dozens of flowers out of cement, filled with paraffin, each as large as a turban. The garden was made of straight lines painted on the floor, the burning flowers at the intersections, like a mosaic. There were three towers placed in the middle of the pathways.

Meadow

Much of Marieke Bolhuis’s work is perishable. It is part of the landscape. What remains are the photographs, the sketches and drawings. At the moment, she is exhibiting work at the top of the North-Holland peninsula. The villages of Oudesluis and St. Maartensbrug are connected by the Grote Sloot, a road that runs for eight kilometres alongside a wide ‘sloot’, or channel of water. This year, five artists were invited to exhibit work here. Bolhuis selected three meadows, and made ‘drawings’ in the grass. They are anamorphoses, or perspective drawings that can only make sense when seen from a single vantage point.

When Bolhuis first saw the pastures, the farmer told her that his calves and sheep would continue to graze in the meadow, and that her work would have to be protected with electrified twine. Bolhuis used the poles that support the electrified twine, that in turn looks like heavy white thread, to create a ‘drawing’ of an enormous cow in the grass. Because the calves eat away the grass outside the twine, the Bolhuis cow grows a healthy thick coat of green fur. Bolhuis painted a red spot on the road, at the place where you can best see the drawing. When you look at it from the side, it looks more like one of the ‘wadden’, or sandbank islands, like Terschelling, a stretched-out form of white lines. In another of the meadows, where the sheep are grazing, Bolhuis used the electrified twine to construct a sheep inside a cloud. Her third work is a chicken, many yards tall, made of the electrified twine and chicken wire. White chickens range inside. When the installation is removed, the cow will still be visible for a time, a relief in the grass. Like Bolhuis’s other projects, the cow will then slowly sink away into its surroundings. Or it will be around forever, like the air we breathe.

Grote Sloot, Beeldroute 2000, installations in the Zijper Landscape