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Cecil Kemperink

Published:

To Be Continued | Ceramics and Body Connected

I was a curious and sensitive child/teenager who followed many art and dance classes. After one year at the fashion academy, I switched to visual arts, where the love to explore different materials was encouraged. Here, I discovered and experimented with materials such as wood, metal, textile, clay, bronze, paint, and more. It was a wonderful time for me and my art. After graduation, I started with wheel throwing and here began a deep understanding and eagerness to ‘talk’ with clay. The wheel, water, and clay provided a lot for me to discover. I learned about this technique and about myself. The wheel taught me to be in the now, in the present, and the importance and joy of the process.

When you are experimenting, connection is an important part. My textile education made me knit, weave and crochet with clay. It was fun, but it did not work because of the drying quality of clay. It dried before I could finish.

I love to experiment, something I learned at the Art Academy. When you throw on a wheel, you make a cylinder shape to start your pot. When you have a cylinder and hold a needle 1 cm below the top and the wheel turns, you hold a circle in your hands. And so my circle journey started.

SURFING / BEAUTIFUL BODY Ceramics and body connected

I have this preference for round organic shapes. 

When the circles came, I started decorating my pots with them. And after that, I wanted to work on a bigger scale. Pots made on the wheel have a limited size. So I decided (after a lot of thinking) to stop with the wheel and to continue with only the circles. First, I made the circles at the wheel, later by hand. And now I still make them by hand and with an extruder. Every roller is touched by my hands several times. I need to touch them and make them the way I want to. With my fingerprints on them.

The way I work now works very well for me and what I want to create.

I make a part, let it dry, fire in the kiln, and when it is ready, I continue building. So I add new rings to the part that has already been in the kiln. Sometimes, a work goes more than 15 times in the kiln!!! Sometimes even for just one circle. There is no manual, I have to do trial and error. This part of the process, the firing in the kiln, still is very important and is a special happening every time, again and again, even after all these years. But it is also very exciting. 

MOVING MOMENTS Ceramics sculpture

SCULPTURES 

My sculptures are connections between my varied passions: textile, clay, dance, fashion, sculpture, and nature. I work intuitively. The sculpture grows in my hands. The manual process of connecting the circles gives rise to an attentive and labor-intensive process. 

My sculptures have many appearances. They are more than 3-dimensional … with them, you can change the form, hear the sound, and experience the feeling and energy when you touch the work.

The sculptures I create are made of clay and fired in a special Ceramic Electric Kiln. We use solar energy. Temperatures reach between 1050 and 1300 degrees Celsius. I use different types of clay, smooth or with more structure, or I make my own composition.

Putting the sculptures and part of the sculptures inside the kiln is a scary thing to do: fingers crossed if everything stays okay. When clay is raw, not fired/baked, it is very fragile. I also make sculptures inside the kiln, so I do not have to touch them putting them in the kiln.

The temperatures in the kiln influence the color and texture of the sculpture. Every sculpture asks for her own temperature. The colors are designed and made by me. All-natural colors. Every piece is one-of-a-kind and completely handmade.

About my techniques

I compose the clay with variation and gradation in structure, texture, and color. I start with the extruder and continue by hand. I use the kiln many times to fire in the meantime. The work is too delicate to make in one piece. Each work has been in the kiln at least four times. Some works are in the kiln up to 15 times before the last firing at the final temperature. Because of the many times in the kiln (and the drying), I am working on several sculptures at the same time.

NATURE SERIES Ceramics sculpture

The work is very strong despite the fragile looks because of the firm shape of a circle: literally as well as symbolically. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement.

About showing my work

How do I show my interactive work to the public? This is something I have thought a lot about. Photos are very important and something I am always wondering about: Which side, shape of the work am I showing? Is there a best side? Are there more? Which pose? And how do I make sound visible? Can you see the energy of a work on a picture? 

I have tried a lot. In this article, you can see a lot of pictures, made by Marja Sterck, once my studio neighbour. Our collaboration has been going on for years and is special: We co-operate and discuss what I want to show as well as what her ideas are. We both agree on our best project so far being the sculpture ‘to be continued.’ You see me carrying my sculpture as a pieta. With love. 

SOULS / BEAUTIFUL BODY Ceramics and body connected

When you watch the video of this largest sculpture that I have made so far, you see the ongoing movements of the tide: Going up … going down, a never-ending rhythm of nature. 

See the video on YouTube: Cecil Kemperink—to be continued.

I spent so much time thinking about what the best model for my photo shoots would be … until I found out that the model just has to be me. When I show the sculpture, it adds another layer of meaning. 

I love to work with a body to show the scale of the sculpture. To make the movements. And to show the interaction with the body: connection between human and sculpture.

BIG RHYTHM | This piece is an important piece because with this idea, I asked myself: HOW do I move the sculptures? What movement do I make, and how does the sculpture follow … am I the director or can the sculpture be in charge? How is an exchange possible? You watch the model breathing, and her breath lets the sculpture move. They really become one. I am very much inspired by the rhythms of nature: waves, tides, day and night, and also breathing and a heart beating.

The different poses, the movement, the interaction with the body, the sound, different meanings, and perceptions become clear by the pictures, videos, and performances.

One day, I began to realise that dance had become a part of my sculptures. How special: When I was a teenager, I wanted to become a dancer. Two years in a row, I auditioned for the dance academy, and twice it did not work out the way I hoped for. At that time, my world collapsed … and now I dance and perform with my sculptures. That gives me joy, a very important ‘material’ of my work.

When you watch my sculptures, you can see my multi-faceted background in my sculptures. My sculptures are the connection between my various passions: textile, clay, material, touch, fashion, and dance. I began to dance with my sculptures to move them, and at the same time, they moved me. And showed me new sculptures.

“Every time and everywhere, I experience movements of nature creating new beauty.”

RESHAPING PROCESS Ceramic sculpture and project

Some sculptures have such a different way to express themselves: Each photo looks like showing another work, but it is the same work. For instance: Reshaping Process. The interaction of sculpture and woman/man opens several layers of consciousness: Each relation reveals new sensations, change of feelings, and a different energy. New perceptions are being shaped, multiple points of view arise; consciousness is in full motion.

Me, I have my creating source inside of me. Makes me very grateful. To cherish.

EARTH DANCE is a little bit different work: The ceramic rings are crocheted together with cotton. You can see the interaction between model and sculpture.

I have a lot of questions; my ceramic sculptures show me answers and at the same time also new questions. How about apparent contradictions and other facts and feelings: form-formless, fragile-strong, earth (clay)-intuition, sculpture-performance, stone-dance, rhythm, space, energy, time, performing, and intense attention. I am exploring and connecting. 

When I am playing with my sculptures, both the questions and the answers appear not that important anymore; they just are.

Ceramics in motion …Motion is a key part of the expressiveness of my sculptures.

WISHFUL THINKING / BEAUTIFUL BODYCeramics and body connected

The movements show the importance of each circle. Every ring is essential and influences the other; they are all connected, they are all one. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement. Every circle is essential: like in a community/society, everyone is needed, to take their own place and explore their own talents. 

I am inspired by the rhythms of nature. Every day I see and experience so many changes.

Beautiful drawings are carved with sand by the waves. The beach holds them for a little while before wind and water change their designs. Over and over again. Silhouettes of branches are dancing in the wind. Sometimes stormy and hard to see, sometimes calm and clear. Every time and everywhere, I experience movements creating new beauty.

 

My dreams

I am living my dream. 

I hope someday that I can work with a choreographer and beautiful dancers who connect with my sculptures, somewhere on a beach or in a studio. I would love to join them in dancing. 

I want to also work and co-operate with artists in other disciplines.

Because of my work, I traveled a lot to visit my exhibitions or to work in wonderful places, such as being an artist in residence in Venice. I would love to continue doing so if it is possible again (due to COVID regulations).

My wishes

I would love to exhibit in New York at the Guggenheim. To develop my performances and sculptures, work together with other artists, and inspire people with my sculptures.

Be kind to yourself and to each other.

With love, Cecil Kemperink

BIG HUGS is a sculpture in which you can see my love for dance. 
To Be Continued | Ceramics and Body Connected

I was a curious and sensitive child/teenager who followed many art and dance classes. After one year at the fashion academy, I switched to visual arts, where the love to explore different materials was encouraged. Here, I discovered and experimented with materials such as wood, metal, textile, clay, bronze, paint, and more. It was a wonderful time for me and my art. After graduation, I started with wheel throwing and here began a deep understanding and eagerness to ‘talk’ with clay. The wheel, water, and clay provided a lot for me to discover. I learned about this technique and about myself. The wheel taught me to be in the now, in the present, and the importance and joy of the process.

When you are experimenting, connection is an important part. My textile education made me knit, weave and crochet with clay. It was fun, but it did not work because of the drying quality of clay. It dried before I could finish.

I love to experiment, something I learned at the Art Academy. When you throw on a wheel, you make a cylinder shape to start your pot. When you have a cylinder and hold a needle 1 cm below the top and the wheel turns, you hold a circle in your hands. And so my circle journey started.

SURFING / BEAUTIFUL BODY Ceramics and body connected

I have this preference for round organic shapes. 

When the circles came, I started decorating my pots with them. And after that, I wanted to work on a bigger scale. Pots made on the wheel have a limited size. So I decided (after a lot of thinking) to stop with the wheel and to continue with only the circles. First, I made the circles at the wheel, later by hand. And now I still make them by hand and with an extruder. Every roller is touched by my hands several times. I need to touch them and make them the way I want to. With my fingerprints on them.

The way I work now works very well for me and what I want to create.

I make a part, let it dry, fire in the kiln, and when it is ready, I continue building. So I add new rings to the part that has already been in the kiln. Sometimes, a work goes more than 15 times in the kiln!!! Sometimes even for just one circle. There is no manual, I have to do trial and error. This part of the process, the firing in the kiln, still is very important and is a special happening every time, again and again, even after all these years. But it is also very exciting. 

MOVING MOMENTS Ceramics sculpture

SCULPTURES 

My sculptures are connections between my varied passions: textile, clay, dance, fashion, sculpture, and nature. I work intuitively. The sculpture grows in my hands. The manual process of connecting the circles gives rise to an attentive and labor-intensive process. 

My sculptures have many appearances. They are more than 3-dimensional … with them, you can change the form, hear the sound, and experience the feeling and energy when you touch the work.

The sculptures I create are made of clay and fired in a special Ceramic Electric Kiln. We use solar energy. Temperatures reach between 1050 and 1300 degrees Celsius. I use different types of clay, smooth or with more structure, or I make my own composition.

Putting the sculptures and part of the sculptures inside the kiln is a scary thing to do: fingers crossed if everything stays okay. When clay is raw, not fired/baked, it is very fragile. I also make sculptures inside the kiln, so I do not have to touch them putting them in the kiln.

The temperatures in the kiln influence the color and texture of the sculpture. Every sculpture asks for her own temperature. The colors are designed and made by me. All-natural colors. Every piece is one-of-a-kind and completely handmade.

About my techniques

I compose the clay with variation and gradation in structure, texture, and color. I start with the extruder and continue by hand. I use the kiln many times to fire in the meantime. The work is too delicate to make in one piece. Each work has been in the kiln at least four times. Some works are in the kiln up to 15 times before the last firing at the final temperature. Because of the many times in the kiln (and the drying), I am working on several sculptures at the same time.

NATURE SERIES Ceramics sculpture

The work is very strong despite the fragile looks because of the firm shape of a circle: literally as well as symbolically. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement.

About showing my work

How do I show my interactive work to the public? This is something I have thought a lot about. Photos are very important and something I am always wondering about: Which side, shape of the work am I showing? Is there a best side? Are there more? Which pose? And how do I make sound visible? Can you see the energy of a work on a picture? 

I have tried a lot. In this article, you can see a lot of pictures, made by Marja Sterck, once my studio neighbour. Our collaboration has been going on for years and is special: We co-operate and discuss what I want to show as well as what her ideas are. We both agree on our best project so far being the sculpture ‘to be continued.’ You see me carrying my sculpture as a pieta. With love. 

SOULS / BEAUTIFUL BODY Ceramics and body connected

When you watch the video of this largest sculpture that I have made so far, you see the ongoing movements of the tide: Going up … going down, a never-ending rhythm of nature. 

See the video on YouTube: Cecil Kemperink—to be continued.

I spent so much time thinking about what the best model for my photo shoots would be … until I found out that the model just has to be me. When I show the sculpture, it adds another layer of meaning. 

I love to work with a body to show the scale of the sculpture. To make the movements. And to show the interaction with the body: connection between human and sculpture.

BIG RHYTHM | This piece is an important piece because with this idea, I asked myself: HOW do I move the sculptures? What movement do I make, and how does the sculpture follow … am I the director or can the sculpture be in charge? How is an exchange possible? You watch the model breathing, and her breath lets the sculpture move. They really become one. I am very much inspired by the rhythms of nature: waves, tides, day and night, and also breathing and a heart beating.

The different poses, the movement, the interaction with the body, the sound, different meanings, and perceptions become clear by the pictures, videos, and performances.

One day, I began to realise that dance had become a part of my sculptures. How special: When I was a teenager, I wanted to become a dancer. Two years in a row, I auditioned for the dance academy, and twice it did not work out the way I hoped for. At that time, my world collapsed … and now I dance and perform with my sculptures. That gives me joy, a very important ‘material’ of my work.

When you watch my sculptures, you can see my multi-faceted background in my sculptures. My sculptures are the connection between my various passions: textile, clay, material, touch, fashion, and dance. I began to dance with my sculptures to move them, and at the same time, they moved me. And showed me new sculptures.

“Every time and everywhere, I experience movements of nature creating new beauty.”

RESHAPING PROCESS Ceramic sculpture and project

Some sculptures have such a different way to express themselves: Each photo looks like showing another work, but it is the same work. For instance: Reshaping Process. The interaction of sculpture and woman/man opens several layers of consciousness: Each relation reveals new sensations, change of feelings, and a different energy. New perceptions are being shaped, multiple points of view arise; consciousness is in full motion.

Me, I have my creating source inside of me. Makes me very grateful. To cherish.

EARTH DANCE is a little bit different work: The ceramic rings are crocheted together with cotton. You can see the interaction between model and sculpture.

I have a lot of questions; my ceramic sculptures show me answers and at the same time also new questions. How about apparent contradictions and other facts and feelings: form-formless, fragile-strong, earth (clay)-intuition, sculpture-performance, stone-dance, rhythm, space, energy, time, performing, and intense attention. I am exploring and connecting. 

When I am playing with my sculptures, both the questions and the answers appear not that important anymore; they just are.

Ceramics in motion …Motion is a key part of the expressiveness of my sculptures.

WISHFUL THINKING / BEAUTIFUL BODYCeramics and body connected

The movements show the importance of each circle. Every ring is essential and influences the other; they are all connected, they are all one. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement. Every circle is essential: like in a community/society, everyone is needed, to take their own place and explore their own talents. 

I am inspired by the rhythms of nature. Every day I see and experience so many changes.

Beautiful drawings are carved with sand by the waves. The beach holds them for a little while before wind and water change their designs. Over and over again. Silhouettes of branches are dancing in the wind. Sometimes stormy and hard to see, sometimes calm and clear. Every time and everywhere, I experience movements creating new beauty.

 

My dreams

I am living my dream. 

I hope someday that I can work with a choreographer and beautiful dancers who connect with my sculptures, somewhere on a beach or in a studio. I would love to join them in dancing. 

I want to also work and co-operate with artists in other disciplines.

Because of my work, I traveled a lot to visit my exhibitions or to work in wonderful places, such as being an artist in residence in Venice. I would love to continue doing so if it is possible again (due to COVID regulations).

My wishes

I would love to exhibit in New York at the Guggenheim. To develop my performances and sculptures, work together with other artists, and inspire people with my sculptures.

Be kind to yourself and to each other.

With love, Cecil Kemperink

BIG HUGS is a sculpture in which you can see my love for dance. 

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