Tiny Art Exhibition
A Concept: a Staircase Exhibition in the Dutch Way
“What is typical about Dutch houses? Right! Small hallways and narrow staircases when you step through the entrance door. These are often "decorated" with shoes, bikes, rain jackets, and umbrellas.
But how about using this often-unnoticed space? After having to give up the location at the Rembrandt van Rijnstraat the Livingallery is returning to its own doorstep to display artworks where you would usually not expect them: the hallway.”
If you haven’t noticed already, residences in the Netherlands are plentiful, if not made possible by the fact they are practically squished together in an architectural intimacy. When you live in and around the immediate city-centre, you’ll find more flats and rooms than actual houses. It is almost laughable to consider that these small-space accommodations could accommodate an entire art exhibition. Livingallery’s newest art exhibition makes us swallow our laughter.
On April 8th, on a particularly warm sunny afternoon, the Tiny Art Exhibition opened its nearly missable door to the public, warmly welcomed by the two residents of the house who host the exhibition: Anna-Rosja Haveman and Vanessa van’t Hoogt. Both are Art History students at the Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen in their final year. Already they are busy enough with their dissertations but the ease and simplicity of the opening showed their experience with the planning to make the opening a great success. Their business, the Livingallery, has been their original initiative for a few years now. They focus on putting young artists in the limelight with exhibitions lasting six weeks, and often you’ll find past and present students from the Minerva Art Academy. In fact, Minerva alumni always find their back to their alma mater roots either to exhibit in Groningen or work here. There is always a place for Groningen alumni!
But I would like to talk about a specific place of artistic interest. The Livingallery’s Tiny Art Exhibition demonstrated Anna’s and Vanessa’s fascination with exhibiting an undermined-size of artworks in an art world that favours massive canvases, immersive installations, all-round sculptures that equal the size of a blue wale’s fin and stretch the lengths of entire white walls in museums. Where in this exhibition, the works found enough space to be admired while being scattered on the walls of a narrow Dutch staircase winding not even 7 meters upwards. Furthermore, Dutch staircases are steep as they are narrow, so traversing them with heels is a caution and a feat. For an exhibition, however, it allows each work to be placed at a reasonable height (which, you might think, is reasonable in a country that has the tallest population in the world).
Admittedly, however, the small width means you cannot view works on either side of you at the same time, and particularly during the opening, I could not view one work while standing on the staircase for a long time before more people ascended and descended the stairs. It seemed to tell me that there is an equilibrium in the claims where size does and does not matter.
Where large artworks would typically impact the viewer in more overt, sometimes bellicose ways, smaller and intricate pieces breathe a sort of intimacy with the viewer. It allows us to take in the full picture: each minute detail that establishes this work, how every piece is essential for the work to be expressed. The pieces in the Tinyart exhibition are made of a myriad of media from ink frozen in epoxy, monotype, Chine Collé, bronze, film, and so much more! To learn more about how the artists manipulated these mediums, book an appointment with the Livingallery to see the exhibition (Turfsingel 66B)! It is free entrance, and open every day until May 20, 2018. You just have to notify Anna and Vanessa when you want to visit because they are residents there, after all. ;)
If you’re not able to see it in person, the exhibition was also filmed by Kunstspot on its opening day, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgx_UAxObQM&feature=youtu.be
Lastly, you can’t forget to have a look at the Livingallery’s social media!