The person who wastes and destroys so much, will have to repair and repair. For example through reuse, recycling and up-cycling. Artists work on used materials as a carrier for their work, such as recycled paper and cardboard, or on a discarded shirt. They use found materials such as old books, a violin case or even an old gravestone. They can also serve their own old artworks or those of others. Old things often have a poetic component; it is material that already has a life behind it.

Green Earth

26. Hettie Wempe, Green Earth, 2018, acrylic on recycled cotton (50 x 70 cm).

Hettie Wempe chose a used, discarded shirt as a carrier for a painting. Man, who wastes so many things, will have to protect and restore nature. Because of the shirt as basis, that person is physically present in this painting. He literally bears nature.

Second Life

27. Cees van Rutten, Second Life, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, from an existing painting, from a recycling shop (75,5 x 85,5 x 4 cm).

Cees van Rutten is a minimalist who visualises exciting rhythms through squares, grooves, ridges and points. This time he did not choose a new canvas for this, but his squares were painted on a discarded painting, bought in a recycling store. Van Rutten challenges us to think about this. How much art, on linen or scooped paper, in oil or acrylic, cannot be found in old workshops, in attics, in recruits and in flea markets? What happens to that?

For example, sustainability criticism can also focus on the art world itself, by pointing out the functioning of the art institutes, the creation of overflowing art depots and the entire process of supply and demand. Should we still make new works?

1+1+1+1 (spooning 2x back to back) nr. 1

28. Ton van Kints, 1+1+1+1 (spooning 2x back to back) nr. 1, 2005-2018, epoxy photo-resin, various paint, various plate material (50 x 5 cm); 1+1+1+1 (2 x spooning, back to back) nr. 1, 2005-2018, epoxy photo-resin, polyester fiber, various paint, various plate material (38 x 12 cm).

Ton van Kints prefers to use leftover and discarded material. The use of old and used material has a romantic aspect for him. The material has already had a life, has already had meaning; it was perhaps an extension of people and has seen everything.

Van Kints literally puts his wooden reliefs under tension by forcing out sawed-out shapes into an opening as puzzle pieces that do not fit. As a result you experience the unruly reality as a viewer. In his most recent works he recycles two or more older works of art from himself into one new one. He places the ‘laggards’ in a new context.

His reliefs become thicker, they are stacked and covered with a layer of epoxy, so that the old work shines again. The remains of the earlier work, the wooden rest circles, remain visible.

Hymn 1 en Hymn 2

29. Ad van Riel, Hymn 1 en Hymn 2, 2012, mixed media/collage: acrylic, oil paint and sheet music on canvas (each 80 x 60 cm).

Ad van Riel used the violin studies from his youth in the background of his paintings. One contains a totally fragmented textbook for violin, the other a complete score by Chopin. They are ‘composted’ pieces of music. Composting means: the conversion from one form to another: making compost, fertilization, soil improvement. In this case, Van Riel has converted his musical interest as a violinist into a visual form. In Hymne 1 and 2 he has shown the memory of his earlier musical creativity.

We see re-use of old material, not for recycling, but for up-cycling. As you make good, fertile soil with fruit and vegetable waste.

Imagine (Happy Together)

30. Jen Min Lau, Imagine (Happy Together), 2006, assembly (17 x 7 67,5 cm); Automatic Horoscoop Matchmaker Machine, 2017, assembly (23 x 58cm).

Jen Min Lau produces composite sculptures of used, thus recycled, articles. He purchases the parts on antique and flea markets. He chooses good quality objects: vintage design items from the fifties and sixties. And he makes a table lamp from a chandelier or he assembles a Leerdam vase with a robot. He tries to create an exciting object by combining materials and forms, which then gets an associating pop music title. Imagine of John Lennon and also Happy Together, because the vases fit together so beautifully. They are loose, so that they can also be reused as a vase.

Jen Min Lau always combines the visual arts with popular music as a DJ. What he does as a DJ, he also does as a visual artist: his work is remixed, customized, pimped and bling-blinged.

Kosmotronik-Beast van EmmerSchans/ Star Car

31. Harry Arling, Kosmotronik-Beast van EmmerSchans/ Star Car, 2016, plastic waste material, 3,3 Volt lights; 9 Volt battery (70 x 28 x 50 cm).

Harry Arling makes ‘cosmotroniks’, a combination of ‘cosmonaut’ and ‘nothing’, a series that has been expanding for some 25 years now. They are ingenious machines made from discarded utensils, found objects and toys, mostly plastic. They ride, fly, sail or float and depict a fantastic story that gives Arling an emotional feel. The finish is very precise, making the machines look like new. When you look at the statuettes in detail, you can see all kinds of parts such as radettes, nuts, pens, bottle caps, chains and strings, parts of household appliances. In addition, he uses parts from the model building, where his love for the miniature world began.


32. Ellen van Toor, Garfish, 2017, rusted material with leather handle (75 x 45 x 7 cm).

Artist and magnet fisherman Ellen van Toor makes, among other things, works of art from rusty stuff collected from the canals. She also uses many other found materials such as feathers, pencil sharps, pieces of wallpaper, textile or old shoes. Weathered materials with a story behind them. Her work is surrealistic due to the unexpected combinations, absurdism and humour, also in relation to the titles of her work. The titles give an extra dimension, because the associations that arise stimulate the imagination and move the viewer.

Drowned Tableware

33. Marijke Gémèssy, Drowned Tableware, 1999, ceramics, neon, wood (88 x 80 x 40 cm).

Marijke Gémèssy often uses objets trouvés in her work. These tell us something about the disappeared life of the users. The reason for making this object was a newspaper report about surfaced porcelain. The old violinist was saved from the landfill and formed a nice cover for the damaged service. The table frame makes it more elegant. By keeping both the glaze and the wooden parts in sea green, she creates a submarine atmosphere.

Out of Business – not out of mind

34. Jet Naftaniel-Joëls, Out of Business – not out of mind, 2017-18, plastic bags on nylon thread.

Jet Naftaniel-Joëls has been working with waste, discarded and found items for about twenty years. She made a farewell installation of the plastic bag for this exhibition. She manipulated, sewed, fused, knitted, smocked and hooked. By transforming such an old plastic, often crumpled bag into an elegant bag, shopper or wallet, the viewer can reflect on something that once existed, but has now disappeared. Not only does the plastic bag die out, but the retail chains where these bags came from are now also vanished. And that makes melancholy. To ensure that the bygone department stores and fashion warehouses, supermarket chains and shoe stores are not erased from our collective memory, Jet Naftaniel-Joëls created this poetic memory installation.


35. Lichel van den Ende (ontwerp) in collaboration with Marian de Groot (execution), Labelobject, 2018, jacket made from the labels of neckties.

Lichel van den Ende collects disused, useless or found (lost) objects. He tries to involve as many people as possible in his work, by letting them collect and telling their stories about the finds. In this way, the studios of Lichel van den Ende are supplied with thousands of neckties, copper buttons, puzzle pieces, lost gloves and even car interlining, of which he designs extravagant but beautiful garments: wearable art. Performances with his work function as a walking exhibition.

Re-Circle of Life

36. Sunny Neeter, Re-Circle of Life, 2019, mixed media, (85 x 100 x 10 cm).

Materials used carry a history. Sunny Neeter tries to make that history visible. An old, discarded spring mattress, on which people have loved each other, are born, have been sick and died, form the basis of this work. Between the springs of the mattress she processed other used and found objects, each with its own history. These objects clarify the life story, the circle of life, ranging from teat and toy bear to CD, house keys and bridal attire to reading glasses, medicine and syringe.

Imagine 3

37. Cristina Villalba, Imagine 3, photography with collage of recycled materials encapsulated with resins. (60 x 100 cm).

Cristina Villalba is a convinced ‘recycling artist’. She has been working with recycled materials for years; and she also recycles parts of her own work. It uses the most diverse materials and products, from glass, stone, sand, plastic to aluminium capsules. At trade fairs she collects materials such as wood and wallpaper samples. She prefers to speak of ‘upcycling’ rather than recycling. It’s not just about reuse, it’s also about making old, discarded something nicer and better, like you can make a beautiful table from reclaimed wood. Cristina Villalba is convinced that reuse is possible indefinitely; and that’s what she wants to show with her work. Waste does not exist! Her works thus express the balance between nature and man. But also through the theme that evokes an imaginary world.

Cristina Villalba is convinced that reuse is possible indefinitely; and that’s what she wants to show with her work. Waste does not exist! Her works thus express the balance between nature and man. But also through the theme that evokes an imaginary world.

Reflection – searching for relations between past and future

38. Elly de Jong, Reflection – searching for relations between past and future, 2018/19, cardboard, paper and glue according to APT (Appropriate Paper-based Technology), (92 x 92 x 192 cm); photographs of projects in, among others, Mexico and Africa.

Elly de Jong usually works traditionally with wax and clay, which is cast in bronze, durable but expensive and susceptible to theft. This is one of the reasons why she went in search of other materials and came into contact with the technique of APT. Three layers of old cardboard glued with flour and water and dried in a press, which eventually becomes as hard as wood. Together with an occupational therapist she gives courses in the use of this material. In developing countries they give the course to parents and therapists of handicapped children, as a result of which they learn to make furniture, accessories and toys with free resources. The icing on the cake is always the ultimate colourful decoration.

This is sustainability on three levels: the material and the technique itself, the promotion of an important aspect of the well-being of children, and the passing on of the process to others. The image Reflection, in which Elly de Jong applied the APT technique, shows that this technique is also suitable for visual work. Here she has opted for a shape that is close to the adjusted chairs.

Ragazza Alta

39. Jos Out, Ragazza Alta, 2018, marble, crystal bianco (34 x 18 x 90 cm); photos of the process of becoming.

Jos Out recycled a marble tombstone of a culled grave, where the old text remains partly visible and remains significant for the new image. We see snatches of the first and last name of the deceased woman. The title, Ragazza alta, meaning long girl, refers to this woman. Without reuse, such a beautiful marble stone would be crushed and processed into rubble, for the purpose of the construction of asphalt roads. It cannot be more durable and that should be avoided. Ragazza alta also demands attention.

Collection Collée

40. Alexx Meidam, Collection Collée # 3, 2018, mixed media (42 x 52 cm); Collection Collée # 4, 2018, mixed media (40,5 x 52 cm).

Books stand for the preservation and continuation of thoughts and ideas, of language and words. Alexx Meidam makes assemblies with old books that deal specifically with language. By collecting and attaching, the work becomes a ‘collection collée’. This, as Alexx Meidam calls it, yields a metamorphosed image ‘in which the medium illuminates materially and mentally’. A grammar and a dictionary refer to the importance of communication, a search for a universal language.

Meidam not only involves practical reuse, but also social reuse.

Daily Paper / Daily Tree

41. Nico Winnubst, Daily Paper / Daily Tree, print of newspapers on paper and cross section of tree ( 21 x 30 cm); Daily Paper / Daily Tree, 2018, tree bark, the ‘annual rings’ of newspapers (28 x 28 x 30 cm).

The leaf becomes tree, the tree becomes leaf. For our daily newspapers, the daily newspapers, we plant trees, which we cut, while we reuse the old newspapers for new paper. Nico Winnubst creates a metaphorical image for this common process, in which we nevertheless lose the tree. Wood is an essential CO2 storage and is recyclable.


42. Greta Cune, Strip (dark), 2018, natural paint on recycled paper (64,5 x 266 cm); Strook (licht), 2015, natural paint on recycled paper (50 x 266 cm).

Environmental awareness comes natural to Greta Cune. She prefers to work with natural water-based paints on recycled material. The strips that she exhibits show what is possible with materials that would otherwise be thrown away.

Fiësta Erótica

43. Gonda de Bles, Fiësta Erótica, old newspapers, beach finds, old glasses, flattened pad, used rags, mixed media (80 x 110 cm).

The most recent works by Gonda de Bles are mainly ‘paper landscapes’ of monumental proportions. She works not only with paper, but also with used rags. Even an old down comforter can serve. The material is processed and layered; torn, torn and stitched together.

Starting points: the cycle of nature, growth and decay, repelling and embracing.

Collection 13

44. Heleen Kruijt, Collection 13, 2018, mixed techniques (72 x 80 x 15 cm).

In the trays of Collection 13, ‘building blocks of desire’, there are threads that have been spun from sheep wool from the seventies. The wool is dyed with natural dyes. Heleen Kruijt unravelled the wool for days and then carefully let it slip into the trays. Slowly it collapses now, a process in slow motion that shows sustainable time; time in which nothing happens at all. The title of the work is in its entirety:
Collection 13
– Building blocks of Desire
– Building blocks in Color
– Building blocks
– Otherwise…

The sea seems to have a colour. But the water is actually transparent

45. Han Sinke, The sea seems to have a colour. But the water is actually transparent, 2018, oil on canvas (60 x 90 cm).

The water cycle is a physical process in which water is constantly in motion. There is constant exchange between groundwater, surface water, ice sheets and the atmosphere. The energy required for this cycle is provided by the sun. When the water is clean, the blue rays are reflected, making the water appear blue. The deeper, bigger and cleaner the water is, the bluer the sea looks like. There is less pollution in the middle of the sea, so that the blue rays reflect better. The North Sea looks greenish-brown, because there are many algae in the water. The water is less transparent.

Han Sinke paints over old canvases, creating a layering, both in transparencies and in opaque, impenetrable earthy (water) colours. Study and nature trips to Iceland, Peru and Nepal are sources for his paintings.

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