News about art

News about art

Art participation project K.F. Hein Fonds by Sarah Mclacken in the Hijmans van den Bergh building uitklapper, klik om te openen


Every year, the K.F. Hein Fund art committee selects a graduating student of the Utrecht School of the Arts for a participatory art project. The aim is to offer a budding artist the opportunity to develop and gain experience with applied art and participation projects and actively involve staff, residents or visitors in the creation of the new site-specific work. Sarah Mclacken was selected for the 2021 Art Participation Project. In this art project, she partnered with students and healthcare professionals at UMC Utrecht. 

The artwork was inspired by conversations McLacken had with UMC Utrecht staff and students and the A.A. Hijmans van den Bergh building. Through online encounters, research and experiments with medical materials, she explored the relationship between doctor and patient. The sculptural work is a visual representation of her research and lessons learned from her conversations.

Sarah asked herself, "How can we reflect on and discuss physician-patient relationships from different perspectives? How can we look at our assumptions with fresh eyes and see the complexity within these relationships?"

Student Sterre van Wierst participated in the project and says, "It was an enriching experience to organize student participation in this project as well as to participate myself! As a student being trained for a work field that is a bit further away from the arts, it seemed challenging at first to connect these disciplines. Approaching the (bio)medical discipline from the arts brings students a different perspective and a deeper awareness in the work they do. The great thing about this project is that the students also shared experiences between different programs and found a lot of common ground within the arts!"

Sarah describes the process she went through in a publication.

Photography: Sarah Mclacken

Linda Nieuwstad creates Boerhaaveprijs uitklapper, klik om te openen

no title, 2021, approx. 120 x 600 x 80 cm (hxbxd)

material: truck tarpaulin, steel, materials UMC Utrecht.

The annual Boerhaave Prize was presented by the board of directors on May 12, 2021 (Day of Care) to all employees of the UMC Utrecht for the special way in which they dedicate themselves to the care of people with and without Covid-19. The board of the Stichting J.M. Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds, made this special edition of the Boerhaave Prize possible.

Artist Linda Nieuwstad created a work of art that expresses gratitude, appreciation and supporting each other. She incorporated materials used in the hospital, and in the care surrounding Covid-19. There are leaves made from company clothing and cleaning wipes, mouth caps, breathing tubes and PCR test tubes.

Nieuwstad (b. 1974) creates monumental floral arrangements. She was inspired when she saw the lavish floral still life from the Golden Age at a museum. The impressive compositions of painters such as Jan van Huysum and Rachel Ruysch, with references to vanitas and transience, fascinated her. She imagined she could step into these paintings, and since then she has been creating idyllic worlds you would want to enter.

She immersed herself in botany and the formal language of plants and uses this in her work to express the forms and meanings plants can have.

In elaborating these sometimes fragile-looking idylls, she opts for contrast. She blows up the flowers to enormous sizes and uses tough materials such as truck tarps, foam rubber, metal and other building materials. With these coarse materials, she manages to create subtle forms and compositions that invite you to marvel and, almost literally, enter a new world.

Photography: Thomas Dobber

Learn more about how this artwork was created in the video: https://youtu.be/DoLKl2UtxTk

Kim van Norren - hold on uitklapper, klik om te openen


Hold on, 2020, 14.5 x 20.5 cm

Technique: pastel on canson paper

In 2021 many UMC Utrecht employees had been working from home for months. Artist Kim van Norren (1980) also found herself sitting at home during the first corona period. The exhibition at her gallery, which she had been working towards, could not take place. Her working life was severely curtailed and she preferred to stay home, to minimize the risk to the vulnerable people around her. Soon she decided to pick up some smaller materials from her studio and stay home and work as much as possible. Because of the limited workspace at home, she began making small works of art on a daily basis.

Kim explains, "While using pastel crayon and pencil, I kept writing the same three lines: 'I miss you,' 'love and courage,' and 'hold on.' I noticed that 'hold on' made me feel most strongly: this is what we need." At first, she made the drawings to encourage herself; she sometimes felt alone and missed connecting with others. After completing several works, she began to send them to friends who were struggling, to encourage them as well. At the time, it felt like the only sensible thing she could say to someone else.

At some point Kim decided to share the works on social media and offer them more widely via her gallery. The works ended up at artist friends, a general practice, and hospitals and nursing homes, including the UMC Utrecht.

What touched her most was the encouraging messages she received in return. The words she repeated to encourage herself ended up encouraging others, who in turn shared kind thoughts back with her. Kim says: "This is part of my work as an artist, communicating via art something related to the times you live in. Art that gives you and others something you need at that moment, something to keep believing in when the direction seems to be lost. In this way, art can be helpful."

"There is a danger of becoming a bit cynical, influenced by all the contradictory news coverage. But if you look at the big picture you know you have to keep going and that everything is worthwhile. And let's make things that contribute to something bigger rather than something smaller. In other words, keep courage, persevere and encourage each other."

Kim's message may apply to others as well. It wasn’t easy to work under the stressful and uncertain circumstances of the pandemic. Sometimes we risk losing motivation and may long for the way things used to be. Fortunately, there were always positive aspects of the work, too: a new treatment, new collaborations, patients getting better or a nice conversation with a colleague. Moments of brightness and hope.

Like Kim van Norren, let's try to persevere together, keep showing each other love and courage and keep looking forward to the moment when we can really see each other again.  

Courtesy of Kim van Norren

Photography: Thomas Dobber

Sandro Setola: 'Junction' uitklapper, klik om te openen


'Junction', 2019, presentation space, video

From late May to late August 2019, the entrance area, location UMC Utrecht, featured the artwork 'Junction' by artist Sandro Setola (1976).

Partly due to his experiences as a patient, Setola became fascinated by the medical world and asked questions about it. His questions eventually led to one main question: what is the influence of the environment and psychosocial factors, such as the doctor-patient relationship, on the care process and can we make more conscious use of them in healing?

He interviewed several people (healthcare professionals and patients) on this topic. He also created 3d animations that he used as "mental spaces" for the interview excerpts. The interaction between the animations and the sound fragments asks you to constantly adjust your interpretation of them. This interaction triggers the spectator's imagination, which starts to make its own connections between the spoken text and the visual language.

The UMC Utrecht supported and facilitated this art project because it ties in with the patient participation program and offered a special entry point for dialogue. The support consisted of establishing contacts with specialists and patients, providing a studio space for the sound recordings and the possibility of giving the final work a stage in our hospital. After its presentation at UMC Utrecht, the artwork will travel throughout the Netherlands.

Photography: Sandro Setola

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