At the bottom of this text also information about the group exhibition and the other artists!

In the Netherlands we watched the press conference on TV in December of 2020 in silence and in constant exclusivity from our own home. It became clear that in mid-December there was talk of the second Lockdown. Even for Kristin Stobbink, it was no longer exceptional to spend days at home. During the first Lockdown she already created an art installation called “Put your mask on”, designed at the momentum when the wrapping of the “mouth masks obligation” hit the masses.

In times of the second lockdown, wearing a mouth mask has become our new norm. And when Kristin Stobbink stands still and allows the ‘now’ to take effect, to her certain things stand out. There are cases of rules and division, of struggle and helplessness. A sense of coming up short. A moment in which for some invisible problems, hard digits and statistics suddenly become pressing and visible.

All these tensions in society prompted Kristin Stobbink to start her second corona installation called “Be my friend”. For this installation she has depicted seven social pain points. Some vulnerabilities have been around for a long time and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Some situations change from vulnerable to life or death. Depicted is a “teddy bear”, which represents the exacerbation of domestic violence, of which children are victims. An “old man”, who represents the elderly in retirement homes who live in isolation and fear for their lives. A “teenager” struggling with isolation and depression resulting in increasing suicide rates. A “server”, a target group that has become massively unemployed and sees their workplaces disappear. A “school teacher”, those who were and stand for the welfare of children and are forced to perform this intensive role of teacher through a screen. A “doctor”, at the forefront of the fight against a deadly virus, hard numbers are to them people with faces of close ones who mourn. And a “fish”, a reference to my other series of works by Kristin Stobbink with the theme “Electric wave”. The North Sea is our proverbial sidewalk, in the North Sea there is a highway with cables. It is one of the busiest wired seas. The cables even go through nature reserves and there are little or no restrictions for this. The “fish” represent the climate crises, a pressing topic at a time when we humans continue to cause irreparable damage. There is a moment that signals a transition of consciousness – that which what has died out will not return.

Kristin Stobbink’s installation consists of three facets, with the seven social pain points depicted in each work. The first facet is spatial and consists of all small portraits. These caricatures hang in large numbers in the room. They float next to each other and through each other. The caricatures are printed with linocuts on dyed fabric. The fabric is dyed by hand and a kind of Batik pattern has been added by Kristin Stobbink, in this you could see a “net” or “safety net”. These buddies represent the idea behind “Be my friend”. A cuddly toy is a companion you can talk to, it has a calming effect, reduces loneliness and gives comfort. These cuddly toys are filled with hand-washed sheep’s wool and also lavender. Traditionally, lavender has a relaxing and calming effect on people. A cuddly toy with the message “Be my friend”, a friend is a close relationship that consists of supporting each other without financial gain. These are all things Kristin Stobbink thinks people can use right now, hence her installation “Be my friend”.

Another facet of her work are the four panels. The characters that depicted the seven social pain points return also in this work, this time she experimented with the ‘ghost print’ of the linocut and processed pandemic terms with stencils. This work consists of four unique pieces and the Chinese Mandarin name seal has also been added. This name seal has been specially made for Kristin Stobbink and refers to the starting point of the Coronavirus in China.

The word of the year of 2020 is “one and a half meters society” a reference and “subcutaneous desire” is finally an etching that Kristin Stobbink made, a “group portrait” of the characters she depicts.

Installation “Be my friend” Kristin Stobbink 2021

Information about the exhibition:

Significant – an instance of vulnerability

In Kunstruimte H47, the GAF is proud to present work by three female graphic artists, Saskia van Montfort, Noëlle Poiesz and Kristin Stobbink.

Nature comes to life when people fall silent, this is what Saskia van Montfort (1985) notices. People seek out nature more, but it is precisely at this time that nature yearns for a moment of recovery and an opportunity to blossom again, because nature decays and disappears. She has made screen prints and riso prints based on photos she made in nature, of details, dead animals and the Frisian landscape.

In the woodcuts and litho prints by Noëlle Poiesz (1973), the shadows and areas of light on plants are captured. But the shadows that plants create on tiles, walls and fences are also captured in an image. The spectacle of light and shadow is constantly changing. Her hope is that this stillness will lead to more awareness of the beauty and vulnerability of the flora and fauna and to a better way of dealing with nature.

For the installation “Be my friend”, made with, among other things, relief printmaking, stencil printmaking and hand-dyed textiles, Kristin Stobbink (1987) stopped and let the ‘now’ take effect. A feeling of failing and falling short, a moment when the invisible problems are suddenly made oppressive and visible in hard digits and statistics. Some vulnerabilities have been around for a long time and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Some situations change from vulnerable to life or death.

On display from April 10 to May 9, 2021 at H47 in Leeuwarden!
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