Simone Albers (Nijmegen, 1990) paints and makes installations reflecting on the natural world and the way we relate to her. She is interested in how nature functions on a fundamental level by looking at the mechanisms that lay hidden beyond the directly visible. For example by zooming in, looking at the forces, patterns and structures that play a role in certain processes or by searching for connections and interactions between objects. Natural sciences, like geology,
astronomy and evolutionary biology, play a key part in her research. Philosophy is also a main interest. Although amazed by the knowledge that has collectively been gained over the centuries, Simone is mostly fascinated by the boundaries of our understanding. The philosophical questions that arise and that she tries to answer through her artistic procedures are: Will we ever be able to thoroughly scrutinize the true nature of all there is? And will we be able to answer the big, primordial questions on the origin of existence one day? Or are these aims impossible by definition?
In the HEAVY META series, the paintings bear resemblance to natural history prints of cabinets of curiosities. Except the depicted objects are not representations of the observable natural world, but rather archetypes that underlie it. The ‘natural curiosities’ are replaced with universal forms, created by simple painterly movements. Applied by pouring, pressing or swiping the paint, it leaves a trail, texture or pattern, reminiscent of natural structures. The compositions are formed organically like a system or constellation, without a preconceived plan. In this way the act of painting can be seen as a metaphor for the creation of nature itself. The objects lack a sense of scale and interchange between matter and energy, the physical and metaphysical. The series aims to not categorize, understand and control, but to celebrate the unknown, the complex and the mysterious.
The series Fabric of Reality deals with the universe and the way we study and picture her. The paintings don’t necessarily show the universal landscape as we would observe it through an optical telescope or camera; they can be defined as constructed landscapes. The basic structures for these landscapes are created by first marbling the canvas, a technique where the paint flows freely on a thickened water surface. This process gives space to the paint to
form unpredictable patterns, generated by alternating pulling and pushing forces. Around these marbled fields slightly metallic, hand drawn lines appear, forming a grid that is reminiscent of a woven fabric. This fabric holds different elements borrowed from scientific imagery, functioning as icons or symbols. They represent phenomena we encounter, from elementary particles to astronomical objects and cosmological structures, bringing together the very small and the very big. These elements communicate about objects and events that are present in the cosmos but invisible to the naked eye. Because they are too small, too far away, or can only be detected in an indirect manner. Warped grids, computer models, false colour images, shapes like spheres, strings and tori; these are all examples of visuals that became part of our collective memory in helping us understand these abstract concepts. The paintings can be read as a representation of both a reference to the complex phenomena underlying the physical world, as well as a constructed landscape of human analyses, forming a fabric of what together makes up our reality.