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Exhibition: April 2024 ~ GÆA STUDIO, De Achtertuin in Rotterdam

This multi-visual art show, a year in the making, featured over 20 artworks celebrating the relationship between women and water. It included moving water projections, large acrylic paintings in hand-made wooden frames, and a feature from the vulva series displayed on a "nature-bed" of Dutch moss and weeds, simulating the edge of a waterbody in resilience to urban infrastructure. The paintings depicted women’s bodies merging in caring, meditative embraces, using turquoise, blue, and green hues to blur the lines between human and landscape. The exhibition aimed to merge - and question - the boundary between relatable human bodies and the abstract entity of water. As such, this project aimed to draw parallels between women’s bodies and natural bodies from eco-feminist perspectives. It also raised awareness about the struggles for rights and recognition both face, offering new perspectives on reshaping our relationship with our surroundings.

As the title suggests, the exhibition encouraged reflecting on how the water currents resonate within our own bodies. It is also vital to reflect on our alienation from the natural world in most Western societies, and recognize the interdependence to nature's elements. In an era of environmental crises and biodiversity loss, it's crucial to remember that these issues are intersectional and deeply human. The Dutch water-rich landscape does not go unaffected by this global pattern either. With consistent pollution of soil, water, and air, and less than 1% of Dutch waters meeting the "Kaderrichtlijn Water" requirements, as well as a lack of adequate protection of waterbodies such as the Wadden Sea and the Maas River (Jessica Den Outer, Rights of Nature 2023), we have a long way to go.

As a response to these challenges of our time, the exhibition engaged with diverse perspectives on the feminine relationship with water from social, spiritual, and environmental angles, aiming to re-imagine our connection with the natural world and the Dutch water landscape as intertwined and interdependent. By creating empathy and relatability through the lens of the female body, rather than control and subjugation, this body of work aimed to bring viewers intimately close to recognizing nature and water as integral parts of ourselves.


At the same time, the exhibition explored the symbolic relationship between women and water, referring to transformation and movement in time, also from a more spiritual lens. It included a weekend program where yoga and mindfulness teacher Marjolein Rikkelman hosted sessions inspired by water and the artworks, inviting attendees to explore how their bodies resemble water and embody water's characteristics in movement, breath, thoughts, and behaviors.

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