Entering Van Veluw’s dreamlike environments is a remarkable experience – you set foot in another reality. Instead of merely a spectator, you are the main protagonist.
Initially working from an interest in form and materials, Van Veluw shifted his attention towards themes such as the transition between order and chaos. For Beyond Matter the artist added another layer of meaning to his work. Born as the grandson of a minister, he has been fascinated with the church and its rituals since his youth. In his recent work Van Veluw investigates the relation between the rational, the spiritual and the material. Even if spirituality is ultimately immaterial, most people practice their faith in places of worship, using sacred objects and performing holy rituals. What is this human desire to add a tangible dimension to faith? Where does idolatry begin? These questions form the starting point of Van Veluw’s research into the visual languages of religious contexts. Using shapes reminiscent of altars, idols and temples, he manages to evoke a convincing spiritual experience. Entering his installations feels like treading sacred ground.
The floors, the walls and the ceiling are made of glass, behind which sacred-looking artefacts are displayed like archeological finds from a mysterious cult. What happens to holy objects, once their spiritual meaning is lost to history? Beyond Matter sees Van Veluw using clay for the first time. This material has to be processed by hand entirely, which gives the sculptures an authentic, slightly irregular and organic character. Within the installation, these shapes form a stark contrast to the modernist, industrial steel and glass cube in which the visitor is suspended.