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The exhibition of Spirits of the Soil at Stedelijk Museum

Amsterdam, 2018

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Change the rhythm of the dancehall… It’s still the Same groove | 2018


265 x 320 x 30 cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper, and beads

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Dem smoke and blaze under Royal regime | 2018

225 x 325 x 17 cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper, and beads

The new ensemble of paintings Spirits of the Soil originated in a journey that Van Haver made in 2017 to Lagos, Nigeria at the invitation of the African Artists Foundation. There, she immersed herself in the marginal communities of the metropolis with the aim of collecting stories and images that, later in her paintings, will merge with images from other communities she visited. Van Haver established friendships with the 'area boys' in Lagos Island: loosely organized gangs of teenagers and street children. She photographed and sketched life in these social spaces, revealing how interaction revolves around meal times, when people come together to chill out, chat, swap news, and connect.

Back in Amsterdam, the photos and drawings provide the basis for a new sequence of figurative compositions entitled Spirits of the Soil in which the artist interweaves experiences from Amsterdam (Zuidoost), Zimbabwe, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, London and other places. The paintings are characterized by a highly specific sense of form and a great material complexity. They are monumental, collage-like constructs painted layer over layer on burlap with gypsum, oil paint, spray paint, plastics, charcoal, tar, paper, ashes, and hair. Some parts of the image surface appear almost molded and transform into reliefs, while adjacent areas are marked by a sparseness very similar to drawing. 

 

"With her raw, narrative and figurative style of painting, Van Haver challenges the Euro-American canon. Her imagery is nurtured by art from ‘other’ regions and with that she tells ‘other’ stories. Although the format of her canvases is reminiscent of history painting, her compositions do not depict the exploits of figures from the west. At the heart of her work are the ‘spirits of the soil’, the central figures in the histories of colonialism, imperialism, migration and diaspora.

 — exhibition curator Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen

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The eyes must be obeyed… One 1000 soldiers with one 1000 dices. 

When They start They make you No go anywhere… | 2018

226 x 260 x 12 cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper, and beads

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Life never sweet like a Chocolate vanilla | 2018

235 x 286 x 12 cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper, and beads

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One drop.. Your heart might skip a beat for many reasons… | 2018

260 x 310 x 12 cm cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper, and beads

We do Not sleep as we Parade all Through the Night... | 2018

400 x 1000 x 40 cm | Oil on burlap, hair, tar, chalk, gel, resin, homemade paint, ash, cigarettes, bottle caps, posters, paper beads

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