World Artists and their Story, 5 - Carolien Adriaansche

Caroline Adriaansche’s studio at Prinsegracht in The Hague  looks like a junk shop. Everywhere I see plastic objects in bright colors, yellow, blue, red, green. ‘I brought a little bit order today’, says Carolien.

Adriaansche makes art out of waste. She exhibits a lot and she gives workshops. This she does under the name De Afvaljuf, The Waste Lady. The workshops she gives at schools, at exhibitions, for officials from municipalities and ministries. She grabs a hubcap and sets it aside. ‘With a few hubcaps I make a constellation. Because of all the progress you rarely see the stars. With such a work of art I want to draw attention to the beauty of the sky and especially the starry sky.’

Plastic covering on top of firework

‘I mainly collect plastic. It starts in my home, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the garden. I often dive into dirt containers. And people gather for me. They hang their bags on my studio door and from the content I recognize from whom it came. When I go out, I always have a plastic bag with me. At New Year’s Day I always do my New Year’s walk. Then I collect the plastic coverings on top of the firework.’

‘I also get a lot on the market. An electrical company collects lightbulbs for me that people bring there. I recently made a gift in an edition of 100.’ Carolien shows me how it is composed. A cap from a detergent, a light bulb with bayonet fititng and two plastic forks. It looks beautiful.

Meanwhile I get a nice piece of chocolate that Carolien has taken out of the trash. It tastes excellent. ‘I kind of have a thrift shop. From wealthy neighbourhoods I collect things that are actually quite useful, for example an old bicycle. In poor neighbourhoods I find quite another, cheaper material.’

Gemeentemuseums’s Pond

Not so long ago there were floating structures to be seen in the pond in front of the Gemeentemuseum, lots of plastic incorporated in it. I suspect Carolien to be involved in this. ‘Indeed,  the artwork in the pond was made in my workshops.   A Filipino duo, Aquilizan, compiled it. It has been in the open air half a year. Occasional storms nearly blew the artwork in pieces. We have patched up as good as possible. Meanwhile the open air exhibit has ended. Plastic and other materials are separated and removed.’

Not so long ago she had an exhibition at CBK Emmen entitled Beautiful Plastic. I see a picture of an orange floating “tower city”. And there was an exhibition in Gorkum as well entitled Too good to throw away.  

Plastic Soup

Adriaansche benefits from the actuality of the climate and environment debate. The Plastic Soup floating in the ocean will appeal to her, I think. ‘Certainly, it’s on the agenda in the workshops, the environment and global warming. I’m not complaining about lack of attention.’

She shows me a ‘beast booklet’ that was purchased by the Museum Meermanno. Very nice.  ‘I use it in my workshops. When I leave I get from her a magnetic piece of art ‘Adriaansche’s beasts’ to stick to the refrigerator.



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