Nicoline van Stapele

9000 Gent


In a reality constantly subject to change, in a daily rhythm, driven by economic mechanisms, that largely exceeds the natural measure of man, the way we relate to the world and interpret it is continuously schemingly upset. Nicoline Van Stapele (°Geldrop, lives and works in Gent) is, - spontaneously driven -, for more than two decades now, working on a collection of works that in a passionate playful way deal with the organization of things and our natural positioning in it.

Within the measurement of her own apparently metronomical system, geometrical patterns or patterns inherited from nature get form in drawings, collages, installations or sculptures. What we at first sight experience as abstractly constructed or mathematically calculated, appears to be a lively interplay of elements that by the way they relate to each other - either by friction or by unity - generate an emotional dimension. Carefully selected materials such as plaster, felt, rubber, terracotta, wood, paper ... contribute to it and give the works that are refined to the essence, a character in which past, present and future seem to merge together. As if the ancient relation between energy, matter and space is almost tangibly communicated.

Organic consistency, proportions and composition are the vowels in Nicoline van Stapele’s imagery. The space in which her works find a place, forms the underlying tonic keynote that determines the rhythm of the composition. Often you get the feeling that what has developed itself into spatial work, is semantically related to a two-dimensional counterweight. Conversely, her two-dimensional work often induces a field of tension, as if gravity can start to vibrate at any moment into spatial imagination.

Both in a museum context as well as presented in a private or public space, her work opens a loophole into a landscape where nothing is what is seems to be at first sight and where we briefly forget where we are. Sometimes as if we briefly may be delightfully small again in wonderland, sometimes as if we briefly can outgrow the plastic rigidity of daily life. And then yes, where were we anyway?

Beatrijs Eemans
September 2009