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  • Writer's pictureJo Dyer

Artist: Anne Ten Donkelaar

Updated: May 30, 2022

Flower Construction #77 (w:80 h:100 d:6.5 cm) Images:

Flower Pigments #26 (w:38 h:56 cm) Prints made by putting flowers through an etching-press Image:

I discovered Anne Ten Donkelaar's work probably almost ten years ago and find it simply exquisite. I know she's not a painter, but I feel her work conveys the ideas and an affect that I have been aspiring to achieve in my work, plus her direct engagement with plants is relevant to my work, as plants are often a starting point for my work.

Her work to me denotes fragility, transience, interconnectedness and femininity. There is a real semblance of care in the painstaking detail of these constructed pieces and the way they are presented.

I've been thinking more about Michael's comment about my work in the studio presentations today: that "there is a sense of caring for things via painting", and the concept of care feels like another node of connection in the tangled web that is my thinking around my practice at the moment. Care of self, care of nature, care of relationships and yes, a care with regards to materiality, how we approach and handle matter and the ways we intervene with our surroundings (my painting practice falling under this very broad category).

My work has moved away a bit from this delicacy and femininity, but I do wonder whether I should experiment with this again some more.

I also wanted to note the composition of her flower constructions and how, to me, they resemble a map. This, I guess, is predetermined by the plant's biological structures: stems and roots, which are physiological passages transporting nutrients around the plant.

Beyond the Critical Framework geneaology assignment and the Strategies for Creative Research Concept map assignment, I am really drawn to visual representations of data / infographics: maps, knowledge trees, pie charts etc, so I am excited to have to delve into this further with those assignments. There is something immensely appealing about conveying complex ideas and the way they interrelate with each other in a visual way. I guess it's the relationship, the space / proximity / overlap between things that I find such a challenge to grasp intellectually, but it's a task that I feel drawn to. I think the underlying motivation is a desire for understanding and integration.

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