“A mudlark is someone who scavenges in river mud for items of value, a term used especially to describe those who scavenged this way in London during the late 18th and 19th centuries”
Looking for a subject for the upcoming exhibition ‘Experiencing change/Changing experience’ at ONCA in Brighton, I found a subject very close to home. I recently moved to Utrecht (NL) with my boyfriend. Our new garden was almost entirely paved, so the first thing we did was taking out tiles. The ground under the pavement was a mixture of sand and a lot of debris. Pieces of concrete, bricks, but also tiles and even bits of porcelain. I became fascinated and with every dig or after rainfall, I would scan the garden for new pieces.
The scanning didn’t stick to the garden, I started noticing bits of debris in sandy paths in parks in the city as well. Where were these pieces of tiles and porcelain coming from, I wondered. I googled, looking for debris in gardens, and soon found out that the debris of demolished houses was commonly used to lay under newly build houses, and roads. My search brought me even closer to home, my father recently retired from working over 25 years in the construction of roads….
The thing I like about finding a new subject for a work, is that even if it first seems to be so far from what you normally do, it somehow always is closer to you then you first realize. It is interesting and also important. Something that is closer to you is easier to understand and something you understand better, you can communicate better. One of the problems with environmental issues is that we miss the connection. People don’t feel connected to it, because they don’t understand it. That is why being part of this collective is for me so great. We get the chance to use ‘sustainability’ as a subject and try to communicate to a wider audience the problems and the solutions we are facing today. For me being connected with E:collective gives me the strength to go a little further and not be scared it might be weird or misunderstood. It is great to work together and looking forward to continue working together!