Born Nijmegen (NL), 1987
Elleke Hageman investigates the exploitation of ecosystems and socialvalue creation on the basis of her own convictions in the field of sustainability. By means of mixed-media sculptures and collages she demonstrates the distant and disturbed relationship between humans and the natural world.
Untitled, 2018, calcite, glass, brass, 30x16x16 cm
By expanding these themes, her interest in the trade of taxidermied animals led to an in-depth investigation specifically into the trade of butterflies. Whether bred or captured in the wild, these butterflies have become commodified as end-products in an international supply chain. The living and working conditions of the butterfly-catchers and their negative influence on the butterfly population remain almost invisible.
The valorisation of death is the common thread running through Hageman’s recent work. In her studio, she exhibits new porcelain sculptures whose creation was preceded by an intensive research project. The choice of porcelain was a conscious one; the fragile material and the crystallization in the glaze directly reference the vulnerable and colourful butterfly wings. Never forgetting the fact that as a maker she is also part of her own ecosystem, Hageman requires the viewer to think about the many gaps in our definition of value.