Guest studio 1: Michelle Oosterbaan (US)



With my time here @ DCR I am investigating defining some relationships of space, color, and light with the aim to evoke a sense of place and proximity. I am making models, exploring abstraction and the theatre of space, in the studio built from found, folded, and cut papers and gouache paint. As the models move into the three dimensions, on the wall and off the table, I am finding more interest in how the body interacts with hints of abstraction in perspective. It suggests to me now ideas of location and dislocation, while I move planes of color around the studio from wall to wall.


Outside studio I am taking pictures documenting moments of being in between. I am attracted to rooms, buildings, and objects that narrate boundaries and atmospheres. I love things under construction… and Den Haag has many streets pulled up to reveal the sandy support underneath with piles of stone tiles alongside. It seems everything is almost always shifting! Land to sea; Sea to land. Ground to wall; wall to ground.

So, in the city and on the beaches, I am looking for a psychological dynamic that takes shape in certain forms and temperatures of hues …something that suggests associations, generates imagination, and cinematic-like memories. It usually is a hybrid of sorts. These photos show things being one at the same time -- close and far, a view of a landscape and a wall, a vista and a cavity, something familiar and something mysterious; also feeling welcoming and distant, all at once. I am collecting images of these meeting points.

And then, finally, in my sketchbook I am compiling notes and samples on color. I am concentrating on refining a palette that calls up the fluctuating theatre of space that I see in the horizon and sky space of den Haag. Since color’s value, temperature, scale, and proportion all make place, I am intrigued with the building and unbuilding of the panoramas in the land / sea / city that makes such an evocative, emblematic place.

I am looking forward to seeing how this experience will make memories for me… especially because after visiting and leaving a place… it let’s you know what is important. Only after you leave do you know. Its like love, I think.
So, I am curious what memories of the light I will carry with me.

Thanks for the lovely people I met @ the DCR!!

Warm Regards,
Michelle Oosterbaan