Into the mind
8 June − 21 July 2021
Artist: Sophie Whettnall
In the summer of 2021, BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts will host a solo show of artist Sophie Whettnall, titled Into the mind. Whettnall is one of the artists selected through the Art & Well-being open call for artworks that explore the connection between arts and well-being, which took place in 2020.
Into the mind is a monumental on-site installation, 17-metre-long, that Sophie Whettnall describes as ‘Plaster Drawings’. In these works she explores the possibilities of drawing as a physical, time-bound, performative and meditative medium.
To the sound of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, performed in Bozar’s Henry Le Boeuf Hall in 2020, Whettnall transforms the classical exhibition wall. By carving for hours in wet clay (a laborious and repetitive process), a stratification gradually emerges, complete with heaps and gaps, like an inverted profile. Into the mind is an exploration of both physical and mental strength. On the one hand, materiality plays a major role: the plaster is soft and vulnerable under the hands of the artist who works it with a metal pen. The drawing process is at once controlled and constant but also unpredictable and organic. The incising is reminiscent of hypnosis or meditation techniques in which repetitive actions help to achieve an altered state of consciousness. The process also seems to refer to an abstract form of automatic writing, the growing landscape acting as a seismograph for the artist’s mind.
Whettnall’s work is often founded on a dialectical dynamic. It seeks to bring contradictory concepts into dialogue with each other. Into the mind balances between culture and nature, vulnerability and aggression, body and mind, figuration and abstraction, the ephemeral and monumental. In the exhibition halls, the landscape continues to resonate as a residue of the physical and mental journey that has been undertaken.
Sophie Whettnall (b. 1973) works with various media, including video, photography, installation and performance. She won the Young Belgian Painters Award in 1999.
Opening on June 8, the exhibition will be open to the public until July 21. More Information about visiting times can be found here.
The exhibition is taking place in the context of the Art & Well-being project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.