Rolina Nell: Monday Laundry Day
January 26, 2019 – May 12, 2019
Visual artist Rolina Nell (1968) almost always paints women and girls. In real life positions, but isolated from their environment, displayed against a neutral background.
While clothing, fabrics, details and motives receive special attention, the faces are strikingly absent. It is the cut of a dress, the length of a skirt or a subtle gesture that gives something away about the identity of the depicted woman, the time in which she lives, the culture or the environment where she is part of.
Rolina Nell draws inspiration from the journeys she makes, but she also finds her subjects close to home. Like she did for the “Monday Laundry Day” project. The artist grew up in the Noordoostpolder, where her grandparents settled themselves as pioneers. When she started looking into their history, she discovered old photographs of women in the Noordoostpolder, dressed in the costume of the region where they originally came from. It intrigued her that these women held on to their traditional clothing, despite the fact that they had started a new life in the polder: regional dress as an expression of identity, and as something familiar in an unknown world. In time they let go of the costume and other traditions and customs taken from the old country. And with that, the corresponding structure also disappeared. The latter explains the title of this project: Monday Laundry Day
Rolina Nell painted women in regional dress on the basis of old photographs. Through the use of tempera in sometimes almost transparent layers, and by a very sober use of color, the atmosphere of bygone times is created. Sometimes the clothes seem to stand on their own, as if the wearer himself has disappeared. It is a subtle game of presence and absence.
Especially for this exhibition, Rolina Nell has made two wall paintings for which she was inspired by the regional tradition from Hierden. This way a connection is made between the exhibition Beauty, regional dress from Hierden on the lower floors and her own work.
The installation of the ‘laundry’ is set up in the inner garden of the City Museum.
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