Mariëtte van der Ven

Mariëtte van der Ven creates powerful, intimate and complex ceramic sculptures about vulnerable man. She exhibited in the Netherlands, England, Italy, New York and Japan.

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The psyche of man, the soul in one’s body, the non-physical yet leading part of man Van der Ven wants to capture in her objects. Sometimes referring to icons we already know, other times creating new figures, while searching for the ultimate form that visualizes a feeling. Actually she creates poetry in spatial form. Like a poet searches for new combinations of existing words, Van der Ven rearranges existing forms until they visualize what she wants.

Porcelain is for Mariëtte van der Ven the most noble ceramic material and she loves it. At the same time, the material is not easy and it is a very difficult process to sculp. There is a continuous battle between the artist and the material. Van der Ven tries to search for the (im)possible. She uses an exceptional technique while creating her artworks.

Trained as a sculptor and not as a ceramist, Van der Ven started using clay as a medium to design her objects. She was searching for a material on which she could keep working until she was satisfied and this led her to clay. In her artworks she doesn’t apply glaze, which the artist sees as a restriction, a shiny layer that creates a distance instead of showing the refinement in the faces. By chance Van der Ven came across porcelain clay and decided to experiment with this material. Porcelain seemed a whole other material than clay with chamotte and required much more practice and patience. She never lost her enthusiasm!

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