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Exploring Identity and Transcendence: Femke Gerestein Wins Vleeshal Art Prize 2023

Solo Exhibition 'Moving Through Thin Places' Unveils New Works and Artistic Experimentation

Femke Gerestein
Moving Through Thin Places
Vleeshal Art Prize
January 28–April 21, 2024

Opening: January 27, 5–7pm

Concert, Hekla Magnúsdóttir: March 16, 4–5pm

Middelburg’s Vleeshal Art Prize, awarded every five years, has recognized Femke Gerestein as its 2023 winner. Curator Martha Jager, inspired by Sylvia Plath’s poem “I Am Vertical,” selected Gerestein for her poetic investigation of the body in time and place.

Gerestein’s work delves into the existential journey of the self through performative acts and detailed drawings. Her solo exhibition at Vleeshal, titled “Moving Through Thin Places,” showcases new and existing works on paper, all featuring her body.

As a local artist from Middelburg, Gerestein embraced the opportunity to experiment with scale, materials, and installation. The exhibition features her largest works on paper to date, using colored pencil on semi-translucent vellum paper instead of her signature graphite.

Installed freely in the space, the works engage with light, capturing an energy lighter than in her earlier pieces. The juxtaposition of existing and new works evokes a dialogue on identity, the desire to distort or escape societal constructs, and the conditions that shape us.

The exhibition comprises twenty-seven works installed as three series. Visitors are encouraged to meander through the space, taking in the details and endurance of each piece. Closer inspection reveals the imprints of a gas mask used in the creation of the graphite works, the time and effort invested in the large-scale “Covered” pieces, and the installation of “Covered (my skin)” mimicking Gerestein’s length.

Markt 1
4331 LJ Middelburg
The Netherlands
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