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Domestic Strangers
What do a tube of paint and a box of concrete separators have in common? Concrete separators and Chinese soupspoons? Soupspoons and coffee cups? Coffee cups and plastic bath mats? Bath mats and deep-frying sieves? Sieves and clay? Clay and paint?
They are all materials that an artist can use to create the illusion of life. Or better said: they are the materials that Tanja Smeets uses for sculptures that seem to grow and appear to move. All except paint, which she stopped using when she left art school in Arnhem.
She prefers to paint with materials that already have the right colour and to create texture by combing individual 'dabs' (spoons, cups etc.) in such a way that they form a new entity. Her canvas is often an ordinary or even unsightly piece of reality: the stairwell in an office building, the edge of a new housing development, the wall of a recycling centre.
- Els Hoek in Domestic Strangers, published 2013 (translation: Gerard Forde)

Uncontrollable growth processes
Tanja Smeets chooses her materials on the basis of colour, structure and shape. She connects or groups these materials into large organic structures that seem to be the result of a natural growth process: they infiltrate the environment in which they find themselves and suggest they have always been there. The tension that arises between this matter-of-fact presence on the one hand and the imminent danger of a growing organism on the other, is important in the work of Tanja Smeets.


Liquid Garden, Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), 2016 Liquid Garden, Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), 2016
Nebula and the Soft Machine, TextielMuseum, Tilburg (NL), 2016 Nebula and the Soft Machine, TextielMuseum, Tilburg (NL), 2016 Nebula and the Soft Machine, TextielMuseum, Tilburg (NL), 2016
Growing Fence, Deventer (NL), 2015 Growing Fence, Deventer (NL), 2015
Barrier Reef, Schiedam (NL), 2013 Barrier Reef, Schiedam (NL), 2013
Spoons for the Beurtvaartstraat, Apeldoorn (NL), 2012 Spoons for the Beurtvaartstraat, Apeldoorn (NL), 2012
Spoons for the Beurtvaartstraat, Apeldoorn (NL), 2012 Spoons for the Beurtvaartstraat, Apeldoorn (NL), 2012  
Irreversibility, Icheon Museum, South Korea, 2011
Chain Reaction, Heemskerk (NL), 2010 Chain Reaction, Heemskerk (NL), 2010 Don t leave me this way, Barendrecht (NL), 2010 Don t leave me this way, Barendrecht (NL), 2010
Kunsttoepassing Waterrijk Woerden, Woerden (NL), 2009 Kunsttoepassing Waterrijk Woerden, Woerden (NL), 2009
Site specifique sculpture, DSM headoffice, Heerlen (NL), 2008 Site specifique sculpture, DSM headoffice, Heerlen (NL), 2008 Site specifique sculpture, DSM headoffice, Heerlen (NL), 2008 Homeshaker, with Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen, 2008
Untitled, Inspectorate for Consumer Goods, Zwijndrecht (NL), 2003
Protopark, Siegerpark Amsterdam (NL), 2002 Youth prison De Doggershoek, Den Helder (NL), 2002


COMMISSIONS
DIFFER, Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, TU/e, TU Eindhoven (NL), 2016
Broederschool en Vrije School, de Molenberg, Heerlen (NL), Sketch, 2016
TextielMuseum, Tilburg (NL), Nebula and the Soft Machine, 2015
City Council Deventer (NL) and ProRail, Growing Fence, 2015
International Criminal Court, the Hague (NL), Sketchproposal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2015
Barrier Reef, Schiedam (NL), 2013
23 Waterspouts for the Beurtvaartstraat, City Council Apeldoorn (NL), 2011/2012
Chain Reaction, site-specific sculpture, City Council Heemskerk (NL), 2010
Don't leave me this way, site-specific sculpture, City Council Barendrecht (NL), 2010
CBK Utrecht and City Council Woerden, Untitled, Facade Stones, Waterrijk, Veluwemeer en Tornemeer (NL), 2009
SKOR, Homeshaker, Hans Berger kliniek, with Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen, 2008
Untitled, site specifique sculpture, DSM Art Collection, headoffice Heerlen (NL), 2008
City Council Barendrecht (NL), Art Commission, Primary School, 2006
City Council Zoetermeer (NL), Sketch plan, 2005
City Council Barendrecht (NL), Cluster V, Primary School, Sketch plan, 2005
Untitled, Inspectorate for Consumer Goods, Zwijndrecht (NL), 2003
Untitled, Protopark, Siegerpark, Amsterdam (NL), 2002
Provincial Art Lease, Utrecht (NL), Educational Project, 2002
Dutch Government Agency, Youth Prison De Doggershoek, Den Helder (NL), 2002
Foundation for Art and Culture Zuid-Holland, Kunstgebouw, Primary Schools, 2001
Amsterdam Art Fund, Nicolaas Maesschool Amsterdam, Sketch plan entrance, 2000

www.tanjasmeets.nl