OUR NEXT FORM OVER FUNCTION ARTIST
IS IRIS BAVELAAR, A LOCAL CREATIVE WHO DIVIDES HER TIME BETWEEN PAINTING, GRAPHIC DESIGN AND A PRE-MASTERS IN ART HISTORY.
IRIS' STYLE FEELS CALM AND CLEAR, USING DELIBERATE AND CONCISE LINES AND COLORING THROUGHOUT HER WORK.
IN HER FORM OVER FUNCTION EXHIBITION, IRIS DISPLAYS A NEW SERIES THAT SEE HER EXPLORING GEOMETRIC SHAPES AND CONCEPTS, SUCH AS BALANCE AND (A)SYMMETRY - READ ON TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HER WORK AND BACKGROUND.
How old were you when you started drawing/painting and what got you into pursuing this professionally?
I've been into drawing for as long as I can remember. I shared this passion with my father and when I was a kid we used to draw together all the time. When I got the chance to audition for an art program at KABK (the same school my father used to go to) I think the dream of pursuing a professional career began.
How would you describe your painting style?
Currently I paint geometric compositions where I start off with a combination of elements that are asymmetrical and seem out of balance.
And in that incorrectness' I'm looking for a way to restore balance in the painting as a whole. It's very Bauhaus inspired but using soft and (mostly) tertiary colours.
What material and/or equipment do you use to create your paintings?
Mainly acrylic and (raw) linen and this year I really got into mediums. It makes your paint so much more versatile. By making your paint more thick, glossy, matte, sheer etc you can play with contrast which really brings more depth into a painting.
There seems to be quite a change in style between your latest series and your earlier work. Do you consider this a kind of change in artistic direction, and can you tell us a bit more about this development?
Yes, it actually really changed over the past year. I used to draw and paint very simplistic black and white paintings with a focus on the woman's body. But despite the fact that I still really like that style and way of painting, I wanted to develop my skills and try something different. At first, I tried to incorporate color in the style I was already painting in but in the end I felt like I was clinging too much to the old so I didn't go through with that. After a few months I felt kind of stuck. The process was hard sometimes, I think it's always very scary to be 'searching' as an artist because this is often the moment when doubts and insecurities surface. But I learned to embrace and have joy in the process, and I think by accepting the 'struggle' and shifting my focus to the process more than to the outcome, the genuine expressions started to flow. And I ended up with a way of painting I feel I can keep myself busy with for a while. I'm fascinated by the way compositions are endless and I'm excited to develop myself further and experiment with more materials.
Although my style has changed quite a bit, I think there has always been a common thread in my work, which is that it's very conceptual and has a timid appearance. By saying this I realize this really is a reflection of myself and my personality.
You're a painter and also graphic designer; do you feel like your style is similar in both fields or do you approach them completely separately, creatively?
I think you can say that my style is quite similar in both fields. The similarities can be seen in the use of soft colors in combination with clean and fine lines. And I think what characterizes both my graphic work and my paintings is the search for balance in something that is asymmetrical. I think symmetry is boring :)
What are some of your favourite artists?
I noticed that I immediately tended to mention the great and famous modern artists that you see in all permanent museum collections and/or read about in art history books, but I thought it would be nice to mention some female artists that inspire me on a weekly basis by sharing their work on Instagram and other platforms:
- Dusa Jesih, Janine van Oene, Torin Ashtun & Conie Vallese (art)
- May Liok (ceramics)
- Nanda Hagenaars, Jaimy Gail (photography)
- Natasha Sawicki Mead (graphic design)
What are some of your favourite museums?
Kröller Möller & Voorlinden are my favorite Dutch museums because of the beautiful interaction of art, nature and architecture.
Musee D’Orsay Paris I think is the most romantic museum in the most romantic city. And closer to home: Stedelijk, foam and Huis Marseille I visit those on a regular basis.
Besides your exhibition at FORM, where else can people see and/or purchase your art?
I recently moved into a new (shared) studio at the Prinsengracht and I’m really excited to invite people over to look and chat about my work there. People can also view my work on my instagram page and on my website.
Do you have new projects or collections coming up that you want people to know about?
Not really a project but started a pre-master art history in September. I slightly underestimated how much work this is, also as I'm working full-time. I decided to put a little more effort in studying now that this series is exhibited. And I hope the time I invest in art history will eventually show itself in my creative work.