Elsbeth Ciesluk, Robine Clignett
work on paper, drawings, woodcuts
17 October through 7 November 2021
The work of Robine Clignett (1948) and Elsbeth Ciesluk (1986) often revolves around the moment in which a fleeting, casual thought or impression is captured and crystallized into a definite form. In Swahili, Tuna Enda means We’re Going: a phrase that simultaneously expresses getting into motion and a joint trajectory; coming into action together. In the context of this exhibition, it takes on an extra meaning because, in addition to being a visual artist, Elsbeth Ciesluk is an athlete who runs the fifteen hundred meters at a national level.
Her work often contains enigmatic texts that occur to the artist in the silence of a calm night, or during the repetitive process of working on her woodcuts. She sometimes uses these texts as stand-alone typographic images, but also incorporates some of the words alongside geometric shapes into layered, horizontal compositions. The latter are in turn reminiscent of the structure in dance and musical notation for a choreography or partiture.
Robine Clignett focuses on the effect of colour. For her, colours are independent entities; personalities with a particular character that can evoke their own series of associations. They unite the unfathomably deep, like the night or the universe, with the small and near, like the part of our eye capable of perceiving colour. She titles her pieces with vocables such as midnight, dawn, and dusk to establish a link between specific colours and certain times of the day and night, thus concretising them. Yet she sees colour in her work not so much as tool for literal representation, but rather as the expression of something absolute to which the viewer has to surrender.
Tuna Enda features Robine Clignett and Elsbeth Ciesluk’s latest work. In the back room of the gallery, Ciesluk presents an installation of wood prints on vertical textile bands, inspired by a Persian miniature of a bathing house in which strips of fabric are hung to dry. Additionally, the exhibition shows two video portraits of the artists by Jelle Posthuma, in which also Elsbeth Ciesluk’s career as an athlete is touched upon.
The exhibition is organized with the kind support of Stroom Den Haag