26/05/2023 • 07/07/2023
Dog tails and rabbit furs - Leonie Brandner and Elizabeth Williams de Garcia
Research into mythical and magical stories with nature as a major source of inspiration.
Extra during HOOGTIJ from 20.00 hrs: mini workshop drawing with natural inks.
Leonie Brandner (CH) is a visual artist who writes, stitches and sings as part of her practice. Her work is influenced by botany, feminist practices, by stories that are handed down from one generation to the next and a deep ecological concern for the care we return to our environment. With this presentation she concludes her research into natural inks in relation to her fascination for the mythical and medicinal plant Mandrake or Mandragora. This research was made possible by the Makers scheme of the Municipality of The Hague.
Alongside others spaces she has shown her work Aargauer Kunsthaus (CH), the Barbican Greenhouse (UK), Stroom Den Haag (NL), Liebermann Villa (DE), and the Casino Display (LU) and currently lives and works in the Netherlands.
Elizabeth Williams de Garcia (VS) enjoys using the process of etching on copper to express her love of drawing. Her work is centered around constructing careful, meticulous compositions. She implements different textures, tones, lines, and shapes to enhance the atmosphere of each piece. She incorporates a blend of everyday, mundane objects, animals and bones, to introduce different components into her stories. She is inspired by the idea of rituals and magic and witchcraft and the idea of the witch’s familiar: a close friend, companion, or spiritual guardian that protects and assists witches in their practice of magic. She likes the conversations between dark and light—both as visual and as conceptual elements—and uses those elements to add depth to her drawings.
“I feel that by designing complete scenarios, fully expressed in their complexity and detail, I am creating complete stories. All of the elements are present, and they invite the viewer to ascertain the context for themselves.”
The Mediterranean-growing Mandragora is a medicinal plant and one of the best-recorded gynaecological herbal substances across history. In Ancient Greece, it was used as an aphrodisiac, a sleeping aid and as a narcotic in surgeries, to induce labour and expel stillbirths. But the Mandragora is much more than simply medicinal – the herb gets mysteriously depicted as half-human-half-plant. The stories that emerged around the enigmatic human plant grew into a potent fairy-tale and even a belief system known as the ‘Alraunglaube’. The belief stimulated a flourishing counterfeit trade, became the grounds for numerous witch trials and was most potent where the plant itself never even grew: in Germany and the Netherlands. But by the start of the 19th century, the knowledge and the story of the plant vanished into obscurity.
About Grafische Werkplaats
De Grafische Werkplaats Den Haag is a production workshop for visual artists, graphic artists, photographers and designers. The Werkplaats is known for being one of the few places in the Netherlands with facilities for large format screen printing, lithography, etching, relief printing and textile printing. The Werkplaats regularly organizes workshops, exhibitions and special projects.
2512 GA Den Haag