StartPoint Prize 2016

Hannelore Vandepoel

The artist introduces us to an artificial world of small prefabricated delights, by collecting and sorting material whose effect is both visually ravishing and yet banal in its undisguised industrial origin and total lack of depth. The purpose of these things is instant gratification, the illusion of faultless perfection. In using them, Hannelore Vandepoel creates a world of her own, where we instantly feel safe, thanks to its color and lightness. With the sense of being a diver, the viewer floats from one work to another as if floating between coral reefs, discovering the connections between them. These connections may be thematic (flowers) or material. Retro pink or green hues recur in various places and yet are nothing but the natural hue of the material, the Styrodur panel. Her presentation is a cabinet of curiosities, where everything is a reference to everything else. The perfection of the system is attested to by a small scale model of the Foamy Fish relief, which when surveyed at a glance looks to be the same size as the its final rendering, placed on a distant wall. Another theme in the artist’s work is the possible manners of presentation. The perfect, self-contained world is never going to protect us from the ultimate and inevitable death of all organic matter.