Nina Van Heeckeren

2018, MA Fine Art, Manchester School of Art

"A large part of the concept behind my work is the process that goes into the making of it, the feeling I get when my hands touch clay and the happiness it brings to my life. When I observe people touching my sculptures I notice that their hands move in similar ways to mine: they caress the forms and explore the spaces, I wonder if they can feel a part of what I have felt whilst making it. In a world where a lot of things are negative and ugly, it is my ambition as an artist to bring happiness and excitement into people’s lives. Making large scale ceramic sculptures is a physically demanding process; you must be harmonious with the clay and understanding of its limitations. I aim to empower myself as a woman with these physical tasks I take upon myself: I create monumental forms which are explosive, in bright colours and feminine curves. The scale of my sculptures aims to shock: they even scare me! They are balanced and imbalanced, slim yet tall. My sculpture embodies opposing forces or ‘Wabi-Sabi’ (the philosophy of the perfect imperfect). When an audience is viewing my work, tactility and curiosity are two main factors behind the experience that I aim to provoke. The forms I create are the product of my imagination and are, in a sense, very bizarre. I love the idea of creating something alien that no one has seen before. I want people to notice these new strange spaces and interact with my sculptures which exude physicality in form and vibrancy in colour. The lines I carve into my sculptures are like the growth rings in trees, they represent the circle of life and are inspired by Aztec markings. My main passion in my art practice has always predominantly been in ceramic sculpture, I have never been interested in traditional vessel making but my passion has always been in finding new and exciting ways of using clay and seeing how far I can push its boundaries."
The Underlying Spaces.jpg
The Underlying Spaces
107 cm x 38 cm
The Spaces In-between.jpg
The Spaces In-between
214 cm x 40 cm
12 cm x 32 cm