Graphite Knots - Gam Bodenhausen in The Eye

Gam Bodenhausen. Foto Marcel de Buck
Gam Bodenhausen - Graphite Knots. Foto Marcel de Buck
Gam Bodenhausen - Schetsen voor Graphite Knots. Foto Marcel de Buck
Gam Bodenhausen - Graphite Knots. Foto Marcel de Buck

Graphite Knots Gam Bodenhausen in The Eye

07/05/2018 - 28/10/2018

From 7 May to October 28 2018, Eindhoven artist Gam Bodenhausen realises her new installation Graphite Knots in Het Oog (The Eye), a patio in the Van Abbemuseum. Over a period of five months, Bodenhausen will make a huge drawing on the monumental back wall of Het Oog, examining the basic material of the drawing: graphite. Inspired by encounters during her travels she explores the history and the future of the pencil. The process will be documented in a series of display cases which will be placed in the corridor in front of Het Oog.

Graphite mines in Grey Knotts

Graphite consists entirely of carbon, one of the basic building materials of all life. The material was discovered five centuries ago, in Grey Knotts, situated in the English Lake District, which then led to one of the oldest graphite mines in the world. The origin of this most basic raw material for drawing is therefore found in one of the oldest nature reserves in Europe, which is also the home base for the English Romantic movement. In this movement observing and drawing became an intellectual adventure with its own rules and possibilities. Bodenhausen’s starting point is the idea that a drawing not only describes, but also generates new insights.

The past and future of graphite

As a discoverer, Bodenhausen uses Het Oog as her research station. During the project she will make a trip to the “Grey Knotts” mountains in the Lake District, where she will visit an old pencil factory and the dark corridors of the graphite mines. For her installation in Het Oog, she will use film images, photographs and found objects from her research trip.

For the exhibition a number of special graphite stones from the collection of the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in Leiden have been brought to the Van Abbemuseum.

Bodenhausen will also welcome different guests in Het Oog. She wants to explore the future by talking to scientists from the Technical University of Eindhoven who carry out research into graphite as a new conductor for which they have great expectations. From graphite as a flexible medium for expressing visual ideas, to graphite as a futurist conductor of energy; this is the bandwidth which Bodenhausen hopes to explore in Het Oog.

The whole process will result in a monumental drawing on the wall and a series of drawings and other materials presented in the area and display cases in front of Het Oog. These drawings will then form the basis for a new publication created in the Charles Nijpels Lab of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht.

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Gam Bodenhausen, an artist from Eindhoven, creates drawings and installations. In her work historical and geological elements from the landscape and nature play an important role. Familiar images, structures and objects from the landscape are observed, analysed, and rearranged in a new reality which breaks down our usual view of the order of things – the order of good and evil. Using the visual materials she has found, accounts of her travels and scientific encounters, she draws existing stories and images in order to create a link to the present with these fragments. In her work everyday objects also serve as a guide towards a comprehensive reflection on what it means to be human in which apparently small and unrelated parts tell a larger moving story about love and desire. Bodenhausen studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and continued her training at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. In 2016 she published her first book, Grey Horizontals, published by Lecturis. This book is based on a series of pale grey pencil drawings which were done after she had returned to the marshy area of her youth.

Finissage Graphite Knots

On September 30 a finissage of this project took places. More information on the programme of the finissage of Graphite Knots.

Sponsored by:

Constant van Renessefonds

Graphite Knots consists of :


Made possible in part by