Untitled, Art Center VHDG, Blokhuisplein 40, Leeuwarden (NL), May 2006
Material: Lycra and black beans; 5 x 7 x 4 m
Commissioned by: Stichting Voorheen De Gemeente
Photo: Gerard Groenewoud
After seven years of contemporary arts activism in Leeuwarden without a fixed base of operations, Stichting Voorheen De Gemeente opened a space on the Blokhuisplein. The first exhibition was entitled 'Proliferate' and Tanja Smeets was asked (along with Lizan Freijsen and Driessens & Verstappen) to make a sculpture.
'I graduated in painting, and seek materials that I can use as "paint". I cut metres and metres of lycra bikini fabric into strips: kitsch printed fabrics, in all shades of blue. By stretching the strips into long tendrils, weaving them together, incorporating black beans every now and then, I fused the materials into a new structure.'
The sculpture in Leeuwarden was a nasty, dripping growth that appeared to penetrate through the cracks near the windows and create new offshoots. It gave the impression that the VHDG's new space would quickly become overgrown.