An exhibition of drawings by Dutch artist Hanneke Francken, curated by Arno Kramer.
Runs until 27th November in Ballina Arts Centre, Barrett St., Ballina, Co. Mayo. Admission is free.
Monday – Friday, 10:00am–6:00pm | Saturday: 10:00am–3:00pm
Hanneke Francken’s drawings often look like visions. Visions of an almost divine conviction, that force you to experience what is going on inside her head and how playfully and gifted she is at getting it down on paper.
She draws the landscape very delicately, sometimes prominently in trees sometimes in the background, or with or without birds tumbling from the sky, sometimes with deformations of dead animals and vegetation, which by natural processes can flow together into one whole. It seems as if they are brought back to life in some way.
A life, by the way, as an image. And herein lies a paradox. If you use figuration as a visual artist, then you can easily get stuck in an ambition to draw the perfect imitation of the world around you. Not so with Hanneke Francken. She draws, as it were, a different life into the work.
She evidently plays with drama, the supernatural and perhaps the esoteric and religious, without becoming larmoyant. Man is always absent, of him you find no traces of actions in nature, the natural remains the main subject in the often complicated drawings.
The complexity in the large drawings also lies in the technique. Substrates are spray-painted and over them Francken draws thousands of delicate lines that ultimately determine the image. Sometimes she uses gold leaf; there is a great deal of control in this complexity; everything finds its place and you never get bored.
In the more recent work a stillness appears. Both in the complexity of the composition and in the technique. The vegetation and often dead animals are now worked out in such detail and ‘included’ in a larger whole, in hundreds of lines of colored pencil, that it is difficult to find the core.
There is even a greater mystification that makes the drawings less realistic in a certain way, and which is given a greater degree of abstraction. The drawings of Hanneke Francken do not have to be understood, they have to be experienced, you can ‘wander’ in them, you can even disappear in them.
In this exhibition in Ballina Arts Centre, I N T E R T W I N E Hanneke Francken is showing works from the last 10 years.