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GINA VAN DER PLOEG

R920.00R2,220.00

Air bladder prints, 2021
Archival inkjet image on Felix Schoeller True Fibre
29.7 x 42cm

The hyacinth is an aggressively invasive aquatic plant originally introduced as an ornamental pond plant in South Africa in the early 1900s. It can now be found blocking many Cape Town waterways, deoxygenating the water, and devastating local fauna and flora. Thus, the hyacinth presents unique opportunities both from an ecological and a material perspective.
I am interested in the somewhat grotesque bulging, pulling, squishing, knotting, and rubbery nature of the hyacinth. In its dried, woven, and sculptural state, it retains its presence as a matting alien organism that spreads and constricts. Structurally, the hyacinth plant comprises leaves, long stems which clump together where they meet the water, feather roots, and round little air bladders that fit neatly in your palm. The descriptor and term “air bladder” links this aquatic plant with the human body, with our organs and fleshy insides. However, where our bladders are dense and filled with liquid, the hyacinths’ are filled with air, keeping the plant-mat afloat and balancing each stem upright.
This print forms a visual distillation of a larger installation where, like the hyacinth in the river grows endlessly, so the hanging and twisting dried hyacinth sculptures expand and hold the space, reminiscent of a hyacinth forest.The sculptural installation takes the idea of the air bladder, playing with scale, with surfaces and skins, with pockets, holes, tubes, and, particularly, with the organ, bordering on organism.

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ASAP 2021

GINA VAN DER PLOEG

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