Marloes Staal

January 25, 2021.

Posted by Vid Levar.

Marloes Staal is a visual artist from The Netherlands. She graduated in 2014 with a BA in Fine Art (Sculpture) at the AKI-Artez University of the Arts in Enschede, and finished a one year post-graduate course in 2017 at the Academie in Rotterdam. From 2013 until 2018 she has been a founding member and curator at The Robson ateliers and has worked as an art-education teacher in museums since 2015. Her mainly sculptural work explores our mental and physical relationship with the environment, rooted in ecology, anthropology and craftsmanship.

She has spent October of 2020 at the Fish Factory Creative Centre and was working on two different art projects, both based on the unique landscape of Iceland: its young and still active geological formation and the melting Vatnajökull glacier.

The work ‘Stones: a work in Progress’ consists of 6 stones and 6 types of wild clay from different areas in Iceland. She processed each clay into a slip that casts each of the stones in plaster molds, creating a colorful representation of its geological past while exploring the meaning of deep time in our human narrative and emphasizing the vulnerability of the landscape in creating fragile ceramic pieces.

Her second art project, ‘Third Nature: Walking on Thin Ice’ is an exact replica of an iceblock, broken off from the Vatnajökull glacier and washed ashore at the Breiðamerkursandur, famously known as Diamond Beach. This replica – made with a silicone mold of the original, filled with water and frozen – is a futile and ironic attempt to preserve a small piece of this magnificent glacier for future generations, only to see it meld away again as a museum piece.

Both art projects are an investigation of the consequences of climate change on the landscape and a reflection on the human instrumentalization of nature.

During her stay, she spent most of her time in the ceramics workplace, going on long hikes in the mountains surrounding the Fish Factory, and traveling. She went to the boiling mud pools and lava fields surrounding Krafla in the north and spent some days around to the Vatnajökull in the south, where she gathered clay, stones and the little icebergs.

You can see more of her work on her website or IG


don’t forget to check the interview! :)