Esther de Graaf (1984) / Groningen (NL)

About Esther de Graaf

Esther de Graaf often uses ordinary everyday materials such as cardboard, wire, aluminium foil, tape and cellophane to create space-filling units. These fragile constructions look as if they might collapse or lose their balance at any moment. Although they look as though they were spontaneously constructed, they are often the result of a great many preliminary drawings. Esther draws on nature for her inspiration and on the way in which it continually structures and re-structures itself; for example, the way in which branches grow and ramify on trees and how nests are constructed. These are delicate sculptures which radiate their creator’s happiness. Esther feels it’s important to create images whose significance isn’t immediately visible. She creates art works to stimulate and fuel our imagination.

Esther de Graaf graduated from Academie Minerva Groningen in 2007. She was awarded the Hendrik de Vries Stipend in 2010 and was nominated for the De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs visual arts prize in 2013. Together with fellow artist Ad de Jong, she organised an exhibition entitled ‘All is Giving’, which was a big group exhibition held at the former post office in Groningen. In 2014, she was awarded the Young Grunn Artist II talent development trajectory by Groninger Museum in collaboration with the NP3 platform for contemporary art. This resulted in her one-man show entitled Esther de Graaf - Branching Fields, exhibited at Groninger Museum in 2016. Esther holds regular exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad.

About the art work

Silent Pulse

Noordpolderzijl, on the right of ‘t Zielhoes, Middenkwelder

Artist Esther de Graaf is creating a new art work entitled ‘Silent Pulse’ for the mud flats at Noordpolderzijl. An ever-changing spatial line drawing has suddenly been introduced into the flat landscape. The art work is made of long strips of aluminium attached to each other with blind rivets. If you visit this art work and walk around it, you’ll see that the work in combination with the surrounding landscape looks different from every angle. The reflection of sunlight on the shiny surface of the aluminium keeps changing the appearance of this work too. Its open structure moves with the wind and looks fragile, just like the boggy soil visitors are standing on: this is the border region between land and sea.

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