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17.02.2009

 

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland - You Winter, let's get divorced

In keeping with this chilly time of year, the London-based gallery presents the new series by Dutch artist Scarlett Hooft Graafland. The series “You Winter, let’s get divorced” combines straight photographic practise with performance and sculpture in a way that is as refreshing as a gust of winter wind.

For “You Winter, let’s get divorced”, Scarlett spent four months living in Igloolik in the northern reaches of Canada, a one shop stop for sledge and boat tours. “Igloolik” literally means “place of the snow houses”. Despite the ever nearing modern influences, Igloolik has managed to maintain most of its traditional elements and still has its roots firmly grounded in Inuit culture.

The beauty of the harsh natural landscape with its infinite snow and ice forms Scarlett’s canvas and playground - a pair of rubber gloves are joined in prayer before an iceberg- is their wearer imprisoned under the snow or perhaps attempting an appeal to save the huge yet vulnerable iceberg from its imminent demise.

Although her concerns are serious, Scarlett’s childlike palette and informed wit are intrinsic to her work. Bold colour, incongruous objects and local folklore are combined to create an individualistic take on themes such as cultural integrity, domesticity, as well as the dire environmental issues facing the region.

Her diptych, from which the show takes it’s title, ‘You Winter, lets get divorced’ was inspired by the words of an old Inuit poem, which describes how isolation and alienation caused by long term exposure to the bleak landscape and endless dark begin to affect the Inuit, and to experience warmth and light becomes necessity. Scarlett herself was not immune. ‘I did not spend the full winter months up there…but even during the four months I spent in Igloolik I started to long for friendlier weather, to see some colour again, flowers, moss, birds.’

Born in 1973 in the Netherlands, Scarlett Hooft Graafland is based in both Amsterdam and New York. She has studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem and Parsons School of Design, New York. She has had solo exhibitions all over Europe and has been part of group shows at the Metropolitan Museum, New York and Musée D’Orsay, Paris, amongst others.

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Michael Hoppen Contemporary : Scarlett Hooft Graafland