Various works Femmy Otten

Courtesy of Galerie Fons Welters Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

She creates timeless figures using clear pencil strokes or gentle plaster curves. Material and time form a bond, with Femmy Otten as the linking pin. Take the lime tree, for instance. It takes many years for a tree like this to reach maturity. It likes to grow quite slowly, preferably in the shade. Its growth process is steady, giving the wood a different and better density to work with. Once the tree has been felled, it is given a long resting period; only then is the wood is ready to be transformed.

By way of intuition, and with the wood as her guide, Femmy Otten’s hands sculpt and sand the wood into a new shape. She positions people and animals adjacent to each other, or physically connects them to form a whole, as it were. In this wooden, hybrid human/animal figure, the boundaries between both woman and man, and human and animal, are blurred.

The early Egyptians also created mystical human/animals like these. They often depicted gods with animal heads in order to illustrate the powers associated with them. Certain divine characteristics would take on the form of an animal. Examples include the falcon ongenaakbaarheid (untouchable), the bull fysieke kracht, and the baboon wijsheid (wisdom).

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