Exhibitions06 04 2019 — 25 05 2019
FrontRoom: BEPPE KESSLER Plenty of Nothing
The earth is barren, the trees are empty; everything seems to have come to a standstill. Yet, irrespective of our destructive dealings with nature, when the sun starts to get warmer at the beginning of the year, some crackling and brewing can be detected in the ground, and it starts to buzz and flow inside the wood.
Amidst the abundance of the spring flowers, the modest blossoms of the elm tree hardly get noticed. But later on, once summer can be detected in the air, the elms can't be missed. They are the cause of what might truly be called 'spring snow': millions of seeds take to the skies to prolong the species existence. Especially in Amsterdam it is a phenomenon, since the city holds - unique in the world - tens of thousands of elm trees and the city centre is flooded with their nearly weightless seeds. They are whirling in the wind and form a springy carpet covering both sidewalks and streets; even making successful efforts to gain a footing far behind front doors. They are also responsible for clogged drains and gutters, deteriorating into a slippery mass once it begins to rain...
The elm is as much part of Amsterdam as the artist Beppe Kessler, who lives and works here; she thought it was high time for a tribute. With her keen eye for detail and visual effects, she became intrigued by the range of shapes - there are over forty different types of elms in the city! - and the divergence between young, mature and the shriveling seeds.
In addition to a group of fifty brooches, each containing only one seed, she also made more complex, associative pieces, which for instance incorporate leafs, grass and wood. Once again Kessler succeeds in transforming seemingly humble, usually unnoticed material into objects that shall once grace a future wearer, and will continue to fascinate and delight the eye.
(The project is supported by the AFK Amsterdam Art Fund).
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)