Statement
Rita van der Vegt
David Large
Muriel Rive
Marijne Lekkerkerker
 

 

Mythology solidified in emotion

Ceramic sculpture by Rita van der Vegt, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Basic to van der Vegt's high-fired clay sculptures is a dark Burgundy-red earth glimmering through surface glazing : a semi-transparent skin of delicate colour enfolds high-powered physical energy and roughness.
Nevertheless her tall, fre-standing  Eos, goddess of the dawn, rosy-fingered and lady-like, stretches herself, lively as well as embracing. Patches of subtle pink, orange and blue can be distinguished in her white surface.
In such monumental ceramic sculpture the technique of cutting up the modelled whole and hollowing out the solid parts has led in van der Vegt's hands to a playful tracery on her finished sculpture, thereby enhancing her narrative.
In ancient myth Eos like a flesh and blood human being, was considered man's hope and glory, to save him from eternal darkness.
To van der Vegt she is the one who gives us, now and again, an opportunity for a fresh start; renewal.
Eos, the immortal goddess, has very human longings. She reflects man's simple mind when she forgot to ask Zeus - who had granted her request for Tithonos, her young husband to be as immortal as she herself  - that he too should stay forever young. Thus the beautiful Tithonos ages and ages and ultimately shrivels into a cricket.

Van der Vegt tries to prevent these crickets;  the shrivelling and limiting forced upon us needs to cease, keeping in mind however that being a cricket is also a favour, because it is a known fact, that crickets shed their skin every year.
She storms impetiously through such themes as life and death, farewell, fertility and transiency.
In her works we find a lot of kneading and roughness. There is little final polishing, but the glazing shows delicate surface colours and texture.
She enjoys the fysical challenge as the material solidifies into emotion without sentimentality.
In this series of mythological figures she has modelled a small abstract Leda and the Swan, as well as the large watchfull stele of the adult Eros, leaning against the wall and panting after a wild pirouette, and another of Demeter.
This body of van der Vegt's work sets out to mirror her internal conflicts; she does not try to lay everyting bare but by digging into her material to leave a trail of discovery opening a world of myth and fairy-tale.
The ancient world of Homeric Greece is here her chosen field.

David Large

Tekst geschreven voor de catalogus van 6ème Biennale de sculpture te Parijs, 2001