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Mind expanding drawings by Stance Oonk

Left, a floating woman’s head and right a man dangling into nothing. A drawing by Stance Oonk ('s Hertogenbosch, 1959). At the bottom of the sheet of paper it says: 'daddy is going/papa gaat'. The body of a man is thinly sketched, an arm and a leg are already dissolved into the paper
Organised visions

The images Oonk puts onto paper come from a source that is beyond her personal comprehension. They originate from an area without mass or coordinates, which remarkably enough recognises topographic boundaries and fixed locations like a small lake or just a valley. Oonk travels to these places with the aid of extensive rituals and meditation. At the source she enters a receptive state in which she visualises and organises the images or vision.
Intuition as a guide

Oonk has been experimenting with various techniques that offer her access to the creative and mystical- ranging from bio energetics and tantra, to body scans, readings and guided visualizations. Magic, psychology, imagination, inspiration, concentration – for Oonk this all fits together as she ultimately choses intuition as a guide.
The magic in art theory

Magic has a complicated status in art appreciation, even though esotericism is closely linked with various pioneers of modern and contemporary art. Presumably one of the first abstract paintings, by Hilma af Klint, emerged in 1906 following a se?ance. Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian - three heavyweights of modern art were inspired by the supernatural.
The spiritualist’s compost heap

The drawings of Oonk may have a shamanic origin, however her work does not share a spiritual history in an aesthetic sense. The candy like pastel colours, Mandalas, fantasy creatures, psychedelic patterns and occult symbols which typify the New Age movement are nowhere to be seen - at most, an insider may find some mythical reference. Oonk’s visual language is not simply ‘traditional occult’. However, her work exercises its force on the viewer, who is drawn into a unsteady and dreamy world . The drawings function as membranes. Where do you go when you’re drawn in? Into the inner world of Oonk?

In all its simplicity it’s a shocking thought - every human being has an inner world. An invisible spiritual territory, where experiences, memories, fears and desires find refuge. A domain where fantasies and facts get entangled, where consciousness feeds on associations and references. The spirit’s compost heap. An elusive area where each spirit has its own place, usually inaccessible to third parties. Oonk gives the disembodied inner world stature and invites us in. It turns out to be an accessible terrain. Maybe all human inner worlds have corresponding vessels, elusively overlapping

The energy with which Oonk designs her inner world is quite appealing, as is the apparent ease with which she evokes visions at will. It’s as if she carries her personal virtual reality with her at all times. She doesn’t need drugs, religious games which transcend the banal nor does she surrender to an amalgam of escapism, reflection, comfort and fantasy. As an artist she operates as a reporter from the inner world. With her thought-provoking art she beats the manifestations from beyond the border where the conscious and unconscious melt together.

Richtje Reinsma
18 mei 2017