Monday 12 August 2013

Encounter with Sanne Vaassen

Maastricht based artist, Sanne Vaassen (Sittard, 1991), recently graduated from Fine Arts department at ABKM Maastricht. With her graduation work she made a successful entrance to the art world. She was awarded with Henriëtte Hustinxprijs 2013.

At the moment you can see her work in the Museum De Pont in Tilburg and in Heerlen and with various exhibitions and plans ahead Sanne is ready and excited to develop her art further.
I met Sanne few years ago, she came to FASHIONCLASH model casting, very pretty and tall girl with genuine charm and cheerfulness. Very sweet, but with a character. I have not seen her work before until I attended the 2013 graduation exhibition at ABKM. Her work is as sincere and cheerful as her personality, and at the same time visually tasteful. She creates poetic representations of various processes where coincidence and transformations are involved.
She pretends nothing, she just is. When I spoke to her lately she said to me (with a big smile on her face): “I really like what I do and make.”

Encounter with Sanne Vaassen

B.P. Did you always knew that you wanted to study art? 

S.V. During my final year of high school I attended an orientation year for fine arts course at Kumulus in Maastricht. This went so well that I continued at art school. During the first year the ABKM it was right away clear for me that out of all disciplines fine arts was the most interesting to me.

B.P. How do you look back to four years of ABKM? 

S.V It was a time when my work is highly developed. I learned a lot from teachers and fellow students. At the fine arts department, I always had a sense of freedom, wide open possibilities where anything goes, as long as critically reflected word. For me, this means free play, with clear rules.

B.P. What inspires, fascinates you in general?

S.V.  I have a fascination for the showdown between control and forces that are beyond us. In my work there are always controlled aspects, but also aspects that I can't control. Transformation and tracks are a playing a role here. Such as a stone that transforms from a rough to a completely round shape due to erosion. What matters is not only the end result but also the process.
The world is like an infinite circle to me. It is build out of different layers of little circles, which are all connected to each other. Within these circles, everything has its own rhythm and lifespan. Like the sea flows back and forward and the earth spins around in its own rhythm. These different rhythms keep each other in balance, and because of this, everything can persist in a continuum.
In my work I look for rhythms which can keep their selves and each other in balance. The relationship between man and object, in other words body and body, plays an important role within my work. Often I am literally a part of my own work, without taking a leading role. The material urges me to transform the material.

B.P. What is the concept behind your graduation exhibition? 

S.V. During my graduation exhibition I presented various works where the concept "the moment of and the change” is an important factor. There where four video works. In each of these videos I practice an action. This action causes a transformation. Within the image I am the one responsible for the execution of the action in the transformation. In addition to the video's there where five three-dimensional works wherein the operation is performed with a motor, fan, or a mechanical ball. I'm not present within these works. For example, a bag filled with charcoal that is falling on the ground, driven by a motor. After a while, a black circle occurs among the bag, which is increasingly expanding. The traces left behind by the intervention, are at least as important as the actions themselves.

B.P What are the biggest challenges that you have encountered in your work?

S.V My work is created from materials that I collect. I look, feel, taste and listen to material. By coincidence and by acting intuitively, a game between me and the material originates. It is important that my game rules stay sharp. I have to challenge myself to reflect critically.

visitor at exhibition

visitor at exhibition

B.P. Can you describe your work in three words?
S.V. Balance, rhythm, action

B.P. How does it feel to able to officially say 'I am an artist'? 

S.V I think the term 'artist' does not depend on a degree you earned. I believe you're an artist or not.

B.P. Any artist that you admire or you are influenced by? 

S.V. Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou, Le Mepris,

B.P. Is there a 'place to be' at the moment for you?

S.V. My work is young and fragile, so it is important at this time to put the focus on my work and to independently develop my work outside the academy.

B.P. What can we expect from you in the near future? 

S.V. At this very moment I am in working at FLACC in Genk, where I am artist in residence for three weeks. In September I have shows in Maastricht, Arnhem and Helmond. In October I participate in JCE, Jeune Creation Europeenne, Biennale d'Art Contemporain. This is a project that begins in Paris, and travels through Europe for 1.5 years.
B.P. Are you staying in Maastricht or do you want to leave? 

S.V. Next year I will stay in Maastricht. I would like to do a master or a postgraduate study. I want to put my focus on my work, and find the most appropriate study to do so.

B.P. What kind of music can be found in your recent playlist? 

S.V. The Cure, The Smiths, Timber Timbre, Youth Lagoon,

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