On International Women's Day, March 8, 2023, Hester Oerlemans unveiled her artwork BLOB X18 on campus. You can find the piece next to the entrance of Erasmus Gallery.
The artwork "BLOB X18" 2020 is part of a series of sculptures titled Fixing Air. Before unveiling the work, Oerlemans explained how her series of blobs came about. Several years ago, she came up with the idea of trying to fix something as ephemeral as air and thus immortalize it. To do this, she devised a technique in which rubber balloons are inserted into other rubber balloons, after which a vacuum is created and the balloon is sealed in epoxy.
Fun fact - If you stand to the left of the artwork, you can still see the "taper" of the balloon at the back of the work
Chinese air fixated
The artist couldn't find anyone in Europe to further develop this concept with, so she decided to travel to Xianmen, China for a few months. But then came the pandemic. Oerlemans: "You go somewhere to develop something, but end up in a very strange situation. We didn't speak a word of Chinese, it was quite difficult. But because we were there for so long, I did manage to make a lot more works than I had thought beforehand."
Other works on campus
Oerlemans is already familiar with our campus. She previously created the artwork "Online" on the steps near the campus pond. Moreover, in 2021, she held an exhibition called "Desiderius" in the Erasmus Gallery. Art coordinator Anne Clement-Vugt is proud of this new addition to the collection, "What I find interesting about Hester's work is that it looks playful and poetic, but there is a deeper, sometimes even critical meaning to it."
I feel honored that my work was placed here, between the works of two great artists.
Oerlemans recently won the ROOF-A Art Award, a biennial art prize especially for female artists. This award aims to connect female artists from different generations, to exchange knowledge and to support and inspire each other. Roof-A owner Lobke Broos attended the unveiling of BLOB X18 as well, and explained why Oerlemans received the award: "We selected on the subject matter, but also on the choice of materials, the techniques used and the uniqueness of the work."
You can see the blob in the hall between Erasmus Building and Theil Building. Hester: "I feel honored that my work was placed here, between the works of two great artists."