The Studio #6: Condities voor het maken van een werk

Gladys Zeevaarders & Sophie Johns (1993, Kerkrade & 1993, St. Gallen) graduated as an artists’ duo from the Polis Master’s course at Maastricht Institute of Arts, in 2018. Since then, they have made large abstract pencil drawings that are created in protracted joint working sessions, sometimes in front of the public.

A slightly rebellious act against the status quo

To Gladys Zeevaarders & Sophie Johns, the joint practice represents a slightly rebellious act against the status quo: ‘we two women who together form an artist duo. The dropping of egos, the discovery of ‘where one stops the other begins, or does it not?’ It’s about the possibility of having an ongoing dialogue within one practice, where positions sharpen each other through questioning and the work takes centre stage. In other words, we want to learn from each other. Our practice moves with the flows of the environment in which it finds itself. For us, this means that we need to be attentive to what these "lows are at that moment and to what extent we allow them to relate to the creative process. The connection with the environment encourages us to look closely, bearing in mind that everything is something.’

©Courtesy Gladys Zeevaarders & Sophie Johns

It has become quite common to work together in the art world. For example, the advent of the collective is linked to the call for a more inclusive art world. Zeevaarders & Johns deliberately call themselves an artists’ duo, rather than a collective. They're two different people; two women who together form an artists duo. They only create works jointly, whereas a collective operates both together and individually. They also try to shift the position of the individual in our society. It’s about dropping the egos, to discover where the one ends and the other begins. 'For us, collaboration means the opportunity to create through having a continuous dialogue in our practice, in which our positions are sharpened by questioning one another, and where the work is pivotal. In other words: we want to learn from one another.'

Would you like to learn more about The Studio #6 with Gladys Zeevaarders & Sophie Johns? For example, what prompted them to work jointly on one drawing and what happened during that process? Then read the folder belonging to the exhibition: