Swinda Oelke creates fascinating sculptures and spatial experiences that play with the viewer’s perception. Simple materials are used to create reflections that turn light into art. The mobility and the simplicity of shadow and light become clear in her works and they often only work through the interaction with these elements. Mirrors or water form the basis of the reflections and the exhibition rooms are the projection surface. The artist’s works are the result of intensive observation. Attracted by the natural spectacles these are brought into a new context. The investigations Swinda makes accompany her in the development of her work. Responding to space, working with its qualities is always a central point of the artworks. Simple objects become a spatial installation and an experience for the spectator.
In this exhibition, the artist appears in a collective. With Thea Mantwill and Dries Lips she has created a spectacle based on
a natural phenomenon. The starting point of this installation are luminescent microorganisms, known as glowing seaweeds.
Through a darkening floodgate, the visitor enters the surreal-looking room. It is warm because it is adapted to the needs of small creatures. Adjusted to the strict rhythm of the seaweeds that they need to light up, there is a day-night rhythm in this windowless room. The light spectacle can be experienced in
the dark phase. The micro-organisms are pumped with water through a thin tube and then drip down onto a square mirror that forms the top of a glass cube. They spread like fireworks in the water on the mirror. In the bright phase the reflections are thrown against the rough wall on which Mantwill’s wall-painting is located. Two plexiglass surfaces additionally reflect the events. This installation is mesmerizing in both the light and dark phase. Nature is used as the basis of art and itself becomes an artwork. None of the elements in this room can exist autonomously, it is the process that makes this work so unique.
© Anna Heldmann