FABLE-LIKE | The fragile dividing line between reality and fantasy

My ambition is to daydream, where are the thresholds of fantasy? Each truth is being colored through fantasy. I try to tell stories with my sculptures. And there is always a ambiguous emotion present: sad and beautiful at the same time. I use animals as human characters, the same as the characters of a fable or fairytale. My sculptures are made out of real animals combined with other materials like glass, silver, textiles and embroidery. The work is often multidisciplinary but always covers one theme or storyline. The relation between reality and fantasy is a question that I will work with for long time.

“Jonathan Livingstone Seagull” 2006 (in private collection: Verbeke Foundation, Belgium) Above: “No Comment” (2006) (In private collection The Netherlands)

Stories, fairy tales, myths and fables, give us guidance for life. They can connect different cultures, and provide context. A framework reference in which differences can be bridged by shared stories. I write modern fables with my sculptures. Animals act as protagonist, as human characters. The materials, in combination with the animal, often portray an emotion or situation. For example: glass, it is transparent fragile, blown in the form of a rib cage stands for the fragility of life. The viewer and the space finish the story and create the context.

The images are a frozen moment in the story.

The main theme was the fear of loss and destruction of nature, and therefore ourselves. And the marketing of everything, even the sun, for capital. A very negative message.

Having done this now for ten years, I would like to walk a new path. Nature will always be the inspiration, but I would like to investigate more, to find the stories in humans, and the shared stories from different cultures.

And to look at the differences and similarities of finding a common context or new language. Transmission of knowledge and especially sharing it together and with the world.

Afke Golsteijn, 2016