Caroline Coolen

FreeSpace 2004
Caroline Coolen has always worked mainly with existing or found objects, a part of which she then uses, incorporates or assembles to create a new image, a new context. She starts out from everyday objects and materials, ranging from the kitschy to utensils such as paper, cardboard and plaster of Paris. The whole explicit figuration evolves into increasingly strange shapes which become less and less figurative and more personal, but based on a highly traditional sculptural approach to modelling and 'moulding'. The work Colen made at FLAC© comprises elements she has used before, or wanted to use, on the theme of the human figure. Rather than create an exact portrait with eyes, nose and mouth, she portrays an attitude or a hairstyle. She creates a portrait of a character, of the type of person she encountered on her travels through the Eastern bloc. The work is a personification of her journey. - Tom De Bock

FreeSpace 2005
Do you know the feeling? You have just seen a work of art and it has thoroughly disturbed you, because it has either entranced you or filled you with revulsion. You are overwhelmed by a tidal wave of feelings and impressions which take you back or make you look ahead. It is precisely this stream of desires, dreams and visions that Caroline Coolen (1975) allows to coagulate into sculptures. However, these individual impressions from conversations and travels - in short, her life - do not predominate. They are only pieces of the puzzle which can appear in different constellations in drawings, sketches and finally, sculptures. They are subordinated to the creation and execution of the sculptures. 

Caroline Coolen's aim is to bring about, produce and create. Indeed her sculptures bear the marks of her creative energy, the visible scars of the creative process. The observer has the impression that the artist has not quite managed to complete the sculpture and that we are allowed to watch and see how a sculpture evolves. In series such as that of the dogs heads, it is in fact these marks that give each sculpture its own unique features. The unfinished quality and individual character are emphasised even more through the use of materials that are cheap and quickly applied, which in Coolen's view are in no way inferior to classical materials such as marble, bronze or ceramics. It inspires her to use bronze and plastic foam, ceramics and cardboard in one and the same sculpture and in this way to play them off against one another, thus infecting the whole debate about art theory with her
direct metaphors.

For her contribution to the Onder kunstenaars en organisaties exhibition Caroline Coolen was inspired by the old fireplaces in the beguinage houses at Z33. Using simple materials such as charcoal and paper she simulated the cosy warmth of a hearth on the site of a former lift-shaft in a room in which traces of drastic demolition were still visible. In the second part of the presentation Ellen Harvey literally provided a moment of reflection with her 'Mirror for Caroline'.

In the autumn of 2005 Caroline Coolen also presented work in the CIAP space and several locations in the town centre of Hasselt, under the title of 'Veldmeester'. The title of the project is derived from a sculpture of the same name. The painted surfaces on this sculpture remind us of the earlier work, Weltmeister, but the silk-screen technique with which Coolen transfers old maps and ultra modern satellite photos onto the life-size ceramic figure gives the Veldmeester a history of its own. Although his painted back appears to merge with the past, he gazes into the future with his feet planted firmly in the here and now. - Jurgen Gaethofs


Caroline Coolen - Stiefel


10.10 to 31.12.2004
13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
Share |