Her first piece on this theme was a video animation, called 'States of Receptiveness', in which she creatively interpreted the rapid appearance and disappearance of the pinopods in a ten-minute animation loop. The video projection is particularly interesting because there is no moving image of the pinopods available because, ironically, the very act of attempting to capture an image of pinopods destroys them, and so only still images are recorded. The video emphasises the cyclical nature of life and was projected inside disused military bunkers in Crail (Scotland's East Coast) and later inside the Crypt of Gloucester Cathedral.
Installation: Receptive Mo(nu)ment
In the summer of 2003 Adinda van 't Klooster was awarded the twelve months residency at Gloucester Cathedral.
The artist says: 'When I got the one-year residency, I first spent a month drawing. I was completely in awe with the Cathedral and the difference in scale that I was used to, with previous work having been mostly gallery-based. I wanted to continue my research into fertility but I also wanted to respond to the Cathedral context. There were some artworks in the Cathedral celebrating fertility (amongst which the bas-relief sculptures of Thomas and Christian Machen with their seven sons and six daughters) but the physical side of fertility is not something which has been put to the fore in Christian religion. And yet it was through spending time in the cathedral that the analogy between the Cathedral and the human body slowly materialised in my work. Subconsciously, listening to the brilliant cathedral organ with its massive organ pipes, may have helped.'
This was the first installation made during the residency, and transformed the Crypt into a womb-like interior. In earlier days, the Crypt was used to store the bones (particularly the skulls) of deceased monks, so the work refers, again, to the cyclical nature of life, making good use of the Crypt as a particularly relevant location.
The response to this installation was very mixed. Some people loved it whilst others felt it was inappropriate within the religious setting. The work exposed taboos surrounding the female body and its powerful role in our origins. After an ongoing period of explaining the work to the cathedral audience within a contemporary art context, more people were able to appreciate it. The cathedral guides nicknamed the piece "The womb in the tomb".
Comments from the public included:
"Thankyou for your celebration of the gift and potential of life. Next time, a 9-month pregnant artist would just be the finishing touch."
"The year seems to have passed so swiftly your exhibition captures much of the essence of this deeply spiritual place. The highlight was the presentation in the Slype, but for the whole thankyou."
"Great use of the crypt. Must make all female visitors view things slightly differently!"
The making of Receptive Mo(nu)ment
| || |
Adinda van 't Klooster, 'States of Receptiveness', 2003, animated video projection.
Photocredit: Ruth Clarke
Adinda van 't Klooster, 'Artistic impressions
of pinopods', 2003
Adinda van 't Klooster, 'Receptive Mo(nu)ment', Sculptural installation, 2004
Adinda van 't Klooster, Detail of 'Receptive
Mo(nu)ment', one jesmonite pinopod, 2004