Carla Kranendonk creates large-scale collages that are informed by both her experience of the African diaspora in her native Amsterdam and her travels to West Africa and the Caribbean.
Paper painted with bright patterns is combined with embroidery and beadwork, as well as photographs of figures from African culture and Kranendonk’s own family. The resulting works represent a travelogue, a collection of memories and references.
The works are not simply a record of the artist’s experience of Africana, but also an interpretation. Perspective is manipulated. Figures are flattened into a two-dimensional format set against panels of texture. Shading is replaced by thickly-painted lines.
The collages are studies of colour and pattern, which foreground the strength and expressiveness of femininity in a light-hearted visual language. Jewels and handbags assert the individuality of each woman, whilst talismans cast them as spiritual leaders. The recurrence of shoes evoke movement, the prospect of a journey. The compositions are completed with traditional domestic props, such as teapots and flowers, which the women interact with in state of rest.
Kranendonk’s works have been exhibited in the Netherlands and the UK, as well in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. This is her first solo exhibition with the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery.