Monika Wesselmann Art

Sculpture, Painting, Drawing


at the Undercroft Gallery Norwich, 2016

TEARS – Collaboration of sculptor and film maker – Sculpture by Monika Wesselmann, Video by Helen Wells

The sculpture
The sculpture approaches the exhibition theme of Asylum from one initial source, the word TEARS that has, in the English language, two different meanings. Tears are what humans produce in connection with pain, threat, anxiety, despair and grief. Tears are also injuries, breaks, fissures, signs of violence in both humans and materials. The sculpture TEARS visualises and commemorates broken lifelines, lost places and lost people due to war and violence, destruction, eviction and death.

The work consists of two constructions that evoke fragile remains of destroyed houses. In the thin-walled ruins, heavily damaged and broken by tears, human beings seem to exist: standing, sitting, grouped figures.  But they are only shadows, fading away, disappearing in the walls. The tears that break the walls do not stop at the shadow bodies, they continue, going through them too. They talk about damage, affecting both homes and humans. They talk about the situation that is the desperate reality of a part of humanity.

The video
The video is inspired by themes of renewal and first signs of new life: Helen went out with the camera to capture the first shoots of spring and then began to look at the symbolism of the plants she had chosen: Aconite is associated with poison and was said to have grown where Cerberus drooled, Willow gives us aspirin, for relief of pain and symbolises intuition and flexibility. Cherry symbolises the ephemeral beauty of life and Bluebell humility and gratitude, Frogspawn is potential and opportunity. Water links the piece together: healing and cleansing, the flow of life.
The images are layered, aconite fills the river as willow blows gently in the wind, poison and pain relief integrated in the image.
Colour changes from delicate greys into bursting colourful life reflect returning hope.

The collaboration
Sculpture and video come together and something new emerges. We work with both chance juxtapositions and planned contrasts:

Black & White and colour, stillness and movement, shadow and light,
Despair and hope, dying away and recreation,
Destruction and building up, hurting and healing.
Nature returns to touch the desolation to remind us of the cycle of life.
The passing of time and the spirit of renewal.
It connects us to the value of life and our place in the world.

The sculpture “Tears” is available for exhibitions addressing similar themes. Please get in touch with me!

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