Everything Belongs To Everything Viola Renate

Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Everything Belongs to Everything

Viola Renate (born in 1982 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands) presents her own special view of the world, which stems from the idea that nature is spirited. Her paintings depict fairies or Elementals as the creators of the natural world. Contrary to the majority of people, who consider Elementals to be creatures of fantasy, Renate explains that we, through our senses, have only a limited view of reality. Documents exist that describe the elven religion, which was practiced covertly when Christianity came into being. The elven religion featured female gods, whereas the Patriarchal Christian faith had almost no female equivalent, except Mary, who was nonetheless not seen as having the power of a goddess*. Joan of Arc is said to have received her mission at the Tree of the Fairy-Ladies**.

The fact that our senses cannot see something does not mean that it is not there, and Renate therefore understands that making this second dimension visible is useful when it comes to understanding its importance. Perhaps we will we only regard nature as something sacred and spirited once we understand how the waste from our current lifestyle is damaging it.

Viola Renate grew up with nature and without television, which clearly shaped her view of the world. This, on the one hand, was because she regarded toys and television as superficial, and on the other because she was drawn to that colourful and moving world. This is reflected in her eclectic style, in which she aims to reconcile both realities. Her work includes references to the plastic pop culture we grew up with, but it also tells us about the spirits of nature, which we seem to have forgotten.

In between the paintings are three pairs of earrings in glass domes: Delirious Pearls by Viola Renate. These adornments full of eyes remind us, throughout this exhibition and the current pandemic, of the significance of a public gathering. These ‘eyes on ears’ make their debut in this installation. It translates the world of elves into chic comfort and quantum vision, thanks to COVID-19 face coverings.

*The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, by Barbara G. Walker, 299, New York City, 1983.
**Joan of Arc states that she received her mission ‘at the tree of the Fairy-ladies’. A Natural History of Unnatural Things, by Daniel Cohen, 109, McCall Publishing Co., New York City, 1971.