ADA Weekly

This is the weekly newsfeed of Art & Design Arnhem

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The ADA staff takes over the workshops!

You may have noticed that the screen printing workshop and leather workshop were closed on Monday. Though for a very good reason: we organized two workshops for ArtEZ colleagues who support Art & Design Arnhem in areas such as HR. They got the chance to look inside our workshops and experience what these places have to offer. They worked with great enthusiasm and created some awesome works to take home.
DAT presents LUMOK and DATLAS

On Tuesday, 3rd year DAT students presented their projects to the public with a closing performance in the Auditorium and AV studio. Sjoerd Mol & Jippe Liefbroer showed a preview and behind-the-scenes of their two hour instructional series for the upcoming DATLAS platform titled Map of Making. For this project they utilized the facilities at ArtEZ to the fullest to develop an overly complex light installation as the protagonist in this series of tutorials. The other installation on display is called LUMOS. Over the course of the year DAT3 students collectively designed and developed the installation in the Critical Engineering class of Luis Rodil-Fernandez.
Cathelijne Bouwkamp visits ArtEZ

Last week, heads of courses of Art & Design Arnhem have been in conversation with Arnhem's alderman for culture Cathelijne Bouwkamp. During the meeting they discussed possibilities to improve the art and design climate in Arnhem. Among other things, they talked about the availability of living and exhibition spaces for artists, designers and students in our city. Next time, there will be students invited to join the meeting as well!
This is: Sophie Vermeulen

A new recurring item in the Weekly! In 'This is' you will find an interview with a student, an employee or other person who has a connection with Art & Design Arnhem. You will read about the work they do and art they make. We kick off today with an interview with alumna and former photography workshop instructor Sophie Vermeulen!

Hi Sophie, you graduated from Fine Arts in 2015. What was the transition from ArtEZ to the work field like? 

During my final exams, I was very excited about what my future life was going to look like. I was lucky that I already sold some works during my final exams and my work was noticed by a few gallery and exhibition owners. So I actually had several exhibitions planned after my graduation. I also right away registered with the Chamber of Commerce so I could immediately start my business as an artist and photographer. After my graduation I noticed that entrepreneurship is truly a separate profession. You really have to actively show your surroundings what you make and who you are. Otherwise, nothing will happen. Almost half of the time you are dealing with communication tasks and showing the world what you do to generate new commissions. I hadn't thought of this before I graduated. It's quite a challenge to find a good workflow. 

You seem to be enormously versatile. You photograph, design patterns and work with fabrics. Are there other disciplines in which you express your ideas?  

All my work is created by making compositions with materials and objects. When I design patterns, I start with building still lifes and then repeat those arrangements. When I make portraits, I literally make collages/still lifes on the faces of my models. My artworks are based on the models themselves and on various cultural backgrounds. That is where I get my inspiration from. In doing so, I am often looking for playful, raw and somewhat absurdist imagery. While creating I am experimenting with the materials that surround me. Photography for me is a fantastic way to capture whatever it is I make. Depending on how I choose to display my work and on which material I choose to print, the work gets its final form. 

What project are you currently unable to stop talking about, and what makes it so special to you?

In 2021, I collaborated with Orange Culture, which is a major Nigerian/English fashion brand. I have a keen interest in African culture, so I had started looking for African designers to collaborate with. In Nigeria, LGBTQ+ people are often not accepted and are seen as the misfits in society. Homosexuality is criminalized and sometimes even punishable by death. Orange Culture designs clothing for the purpose of giving these people a place in the community. Within our collaboration, I created portraits of Flower Boys to draw attention to LGBTQ+ people and show how beautiful and strong soft masculinity is. We organized an exhibition of these works in Lagos at the African Artists' Foundation and talked about the project in podcasts. It's a special project for me because the message this collaboration conveys is really important. It was also quite a challenge to collaborate with a designer living in Nigeria during COVID!

And what do you do when you're in a creative slump, are there things/places/people you get inspired by?   

When I don't know what to work on, I usually go for a walk outside or relax in some other way. Doing acrobatics or making music for example. It also works for me to talk to fellow artists about what work they are creating at the moment. The best ideas often come to me when I'm walking outside, in the shower, on vacation, almost falling asleep or sitting on the toilet. Which is why I almost always carry a dummy with me so I can write down these ideas as soon as I have them.

You have an impressive list of projects to your name. And you surely still have wishes and dreams. Which future dream could soon become reality?  

I would love to work with Introdans one day and design the set for a performance for them! This is still a dream... but I think it would be great to be able to do that someday!

Exhibition tip
Wintertuinfestival 2023

On Easter Monday you will find a program full of literature and stories like spoken word, music, classical readings and experimental performances at pop venue Doornroosje in Nijmegen.

With its timetable, which includes performances by over 75 artists, the Wintertuinfestival demonstrates the enormous versatility of literature. During the event, students and alumni of all kinds of ArtEZ departments will be on stage to celebrate literature.
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