Exhibition Animal Beings, 7 May - 18 June 2022
Merel Cremers - Pei-Hsan Wang
Merel Cremers (1989, Velden, Nl)
Merel works and lives in Cadzand (Nl). As a passionate draftsman since childhood, Merel started the illustration course at AKV (School of arts & Design) in 2007 St. Joost in Den Bosch (Nl), where she made drawings on ceramics. This triggered a new interest, so she started at the post-graduate degree in Limoges where she learned to work with porcelain. Finally she entered LUCA School of Arts in Ghent to deepen her knowledge of ceramics within the fine arts. In the meantime she obtained her teaching diploma and combines part-time education (ceramics) with her own studio. Her drawings and images initially come from a fascination for the relationship between humans and animals, with special attention to stories and objects that act as sort of mediators. We live with animals in a kind of interplay and mutually use certain tools that are apparently necessary to live together. Her sculptures are based on such objects, such as feed bowls or (chew) toys.
She loves the relationship with pets. They exist in a kind of twilight zone between animal and object and when an animal is a thing it means that it can be made. This triggers the reflection on how we see animals as things and also to what extent we sometimes attribute 'life' to an inanimate object. Just think of your old stuffed animal.
At first sight, for instance, 'Kees' is a sculpture of a drowsy Keeshond (dog) who smiles at the viewer with his "happy face". It is a sculpture that invites one to get closer and when one looks more closely one discovers the sculpture can be opened. In the bottom of the dog is a storage box, hidden at first sight. The shape resembles a food bowl which could preserve chunks. It is a reliquary for dogs, although it also refers to a toy: the round bottom of the storage box ensures that the statue can bulge up and down. Is Kees a dog or a toy?
Merel says : “To emphasize the interaction between animal & thing, I often play with the suggestion of functionality, a property that is also closely linked to the ceramic material. Finally, for me, this is also a sustainable material that can enlarge and upgrade something 'banal' such as a toy so that it becomes important. At the same time, it is very vulnerable and requires caution and care.”
She took part in several exhibitions in Holland and mostly Belgium, Ghent as for instance in 2021 “F(utile)” at Blanco, in september 2020 , “De Gebroken Houtdraad” in the workshop of late José Vermeersch, Lendelede and in June 2019 in Watou and many others.