Maike Hemmers is a Rotterdam-based artist whose research reflects on intuitive material relations, shaped by her interest in feminist architecture, and what she terms queer and soft resistance; a distancing from and rethinking of dominant norms and oppressive power dynamics. This she explores through pastel drawings, text, and everyday relational art objects, seeking to portray how affects, feelings, and relationships move through a body.
For 84 STEPS, Hemmers invites the viewer to accompany her on a journey through inner landscapes. The work is based on a series of somatic ‘process work’ sessions facilitated by the artist and process-worker Savannah Theis. Related to this, Hemmers invited a group of close friends to attend a special workshop facilitated by Theis, which went on to shape the installation of sculptures on view. Originating in the 1970s within the field of Jungian psychology, process work (otherwise referred to as ‘process-oriented psychology’) is a comprehensive and evolving model that focuses on facilitating awareness at individual, relationship, and collective levels.
The artist draws on inner developments, whether subconscious, bodily, or energetic, to support emergent understanding and orientation. This she does through her creation of both pastel drawings and soft sculptures, creating an environment in which to reflect on the role of queer and soft resistance. In her drawing methodology, the body is scanned, and each part is felt as a color, which comes to constitute the color palette for each of her pastel drawings. Together, Hemmers’ drawings sensorially documents bodily experiences at a given time. The sculptures are produced together with textile designer Karen Huang. They are filled with materials ranging from cherry pits to cedar bark, and can be encountered variously, through scent, sight, and touch; sat or laid upon as a support, or worn and wrapped around the body as a garment.