Ineke Heerkens - Bead Beat Boogie

30 April until 19 July 2023
Bead Beat Boogie – a jewellery collection by Ineke Heerkens
Imagine an artist walking the streets of New York – the rhythm of the city and music, Hip Hop or blues, the fast-moving ballet of citizens, a background of stone and steel towers with glimpses of blue sky.
Imagine Piet Mondriaan’s painting ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’ with its self-assured, straight lines and the remnants of masking tape, revealing the artist’s considerations and slow creative process.
Inspired by a fascination for Mondriaan’s work, Ineke Heerkens transformed her experience of New York into a jewellery collection, aptly named ‘Bead Beat Boogie’. Her tenure as artist-in-residence at ‘92nd Street Y’ was an intense month of living and working in new surroundings, filled with exploration and surprising encounters.
Heerkens worked with a dancer to choreograph the rhythm of the city. Swinging movements were pared down into stylised gestures of her hands and directly pushed into clay. In another transformative process the forms were cast in aluminium.
The tentative dialogue between a maker and materials is described as the “affordances of materials”[1] which means that a material reacts to handling by an artist depending on its properties to which the artist will react, and the material will respond to accordingly. In Heerkens’ work this is a dynamic dance where clay and textiles follow the movement of her hands.
On first sight the jewellery pieces may look like shattered fragments. Yet the pieces are carefully constructed and assembled, like a chain of surprise encounters. For example, where else but in New York can you find a company for casting metal next to Times Square?
[1] The term ‘affordances of materials’ was coined by Gibson in 1982 and elaborated on by anthropologist Tim Ingold in ‘The Textlity of Making’ (2010).
Heerkens works like an archaeologist, who carefully dusts off fragments and has them dancing in her mind until they find and fit their matching pieces.
The expert assemblage of fragments into exactly the right order demonstrates her skills in making, exploring materials and a fine-tuning of techniques.
Each part of the jewellery carries an emotion. The stoneware is glazed in distinct colours, restricted to a limited number of shades. Some components look like stoneware but are in fact finely stitched and braided textile. They demonstrate the attraction of opposites, i.e., hard and soft, colourful and monochrome, vibrant and dull. Daring choices, that result in this collection of strong, sculptural forms and very feminine jewellery.
The wearer will feel movement, a dance, a rhythm that sways with the body.
In ‘Bead Beat Boogie’ Heerkens’ beautifully and boldly transforms and communicates her fascination for Mondriaan’s work and the rhythm of New York.
Monika Auch