Marloes Der Kinderen, an artist and educator, has spent a lifetime exploring the boundaries of artistic expression and human connection with nature. Her journey, marked by a rich blend of experiences and influences, has led her to a remarkable exploration of the liminal zones between human and wild natures. Her most recent body of work, titled “Water On Edge,” created over the span of 15 years, invites viewers to question their perspective on the world.
Born in 1957, Marloes Der Kinderen’s artistic journey began with a formal education in Fine Art from TEHATEX Tilburg and a year at the Art Academy St Joost in Hertogenbosch. Her early career saw her running a cutting-edge art gallery in Eindhoven, a city renowned for its artistic vibrancy. She also honed her skills as a Fine Art educator, sharing her passion for art with others.
Marloes Der Kinderen also established the Artedu Art School, an itinerary school offering courses and workshops in the Netherlands, Belgium, and six different locations in France. Artedu has been a hub for artists and photographers, attracting leading talents for over 30 years. Her dedication to nurturing artistic talent and facilitating creative exploration has left a significant mark on the art community.
Marloes Der Kinderen’s art is a captivating blend of mixed media, including painting, collage, photography, and film. Her work has always existed on the boundary of the contemporary art world, often pushing the limits of artistic expression. In her later years, she embarked on a durational exploration of liminal zones between human and wild natures, a profound exploration that took her to the edges of the river Allier in Haute Loire, France.
According to Lucy Davis, “Water On Edge,” a project spanning from 2008 to 2023, exemplifies her deep dive into the transformative interplay between humans and nature. This photographic journey challenges our conventional understanding of the landscape. We are conditioned to perceive the world horizontally, a perspective dictated by centuries of art, particularly 17th-century Dutch painting. Even when we lie down, our minds reshape our view to fit this horizontal paradigm.
“Water On Edge” is a groundbreaking endeavor that encourages us to see the world askew. Marloes Der Kinderen spent numerous seasons documenting the river banks of the Allier in France, immersing herself in these in-between zones. Her approach defies convention, as she films from a vertiginous 90-degree angle. This shift in perspective allows us to witness the sky, earth, and water intermingling in interdependent, metamorphic, and magical ecologies. What emerges from this unconventional lens is not a horizontal landscape, but a series of shifting ‘portraits,’ ‘goblins,’ ‘dryads,’ and ‘nymphs.’
It’s important to note that Der Kinderen’s work might initially be perceived as anthropomorphism, a projection of human attributes onto the natural world. We are reminded that this may arise from a place of human arrogance. We are urged to see how water, tree roots, earth, and plankton perceive and communicate with our world without human sensory organs. However, Marloes Der Kinderen suggests that these instances of anthropomorphism may serve as an invitation and a starting point.
Perhaps these moments where we believe that the riverbank ‘looks back’ at us can be seen as encounters with shapeshifting, ever-metamorphosizing gatekeepers between human and non-human worlds. They might lead us to a more profound understanding of the interconnectedness of our world, suggesting the existence of beings that wiser cultures might label as spirits.
Marloes Der Kinderen’s work challenges us to consider the unseen aspects of the natural world, to contemplate the mystical and the otherworldly, and to find connections where we least expect them. In her exploration of the liminal zones between human and wild natures, she brings a fresh and profound perspective that encourages us to question our place in the grand tapestry of existence.
In conclusion, Marloes Der Kinderen’s artistic journey is a testament to the power of exploration and a reminder of the boundless possibilities of artistic expression. Her dedication to nurturing talent and her transformative work in “Water On Edge” serve as an invitation to reconsider our relationship with the natural world. Through her lens, the world becomes a place of enchantment and wonder, where the lines between human and non-human blur, and we are encouraged to seek a deeper connection with the spirits of the earth. Marloes Der Kinderen’s work is not just art; it is an invitation to see the world anew and to reconnect with the magic that surrounds us.