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Round & round & up & down

"Round & round & up & down is based on Charlott Markus’ experience as an Artist-In-Residence at the psychiatric hospital Zon & Schild in Amersfoort. The recurring themes in this exhibition are confinement, feeling safe and being seen. Markus’ work is about our perception of the world and ourselves, the layers we don’t always want to see or reveal.

Markus started out making anonymous portraits, not of the heads but the hands of clients, and ended up making real connections and sharing stories. Together they practiced looking at the world from a slightly different angle. Some of these collected hand portraits are incorporated in the exhibition via print experiments on glass. For this exhibition Markus has also collected original textile curtains from Hebron, a huge, historical, and monumental building at Z&S that has been closed for several years.

No one is standing solo: The work ‘For Petra S’ could have not been realised without the amazing help by Andrea Storvall, a masterly crochet and yarn addict, and crafts teacher Titia Williams with her amazing group of women at the knitting and crochet club at OBA Bijlmerplein. This work is for Petra S – and for all the rest of us that don’t always manage to 'stand on the dance floor', the ones that don't always manage to participate because of mental health reasons.

Writing became Markus’ outlet during her time at the residency; based on her notes she worked on a manuscript, mixing clients' stories with her own experiences and observations. This manuscript formed the basis of an eight-channel audio work that is providing an intimate atmosphere to the exhibition space. The intention is to create an environment that hints at an intersectional view of society and allows us to contemplate our relationship with mental health and the politics surrounding it. In the end, Markus says, it is all about being seen and feeling safe."

List of works:

Partition #8 (sound clouds & shields) - Mixed media audio installation (textile curtains, metal corner beads, masonry string, loudspeakers, metal wires) 2023. Measurements (LxWxH): 10 x 6 x 7 meter

Box Frames I-VIII (Ash wood, glass, ink, indigo, calligraphy silk fabric) 2023.

Book Frames I-IV (Ash wood, glass, ink, indigo) 2023

For Petra S - Mixed media installation (crocheted textile raindrops, hand woven carpets from recycled cotton, indigo, bedsheets from Zon & Schild, silver thread, disco ball, projection) 2023. Measurements (LxWxH): 535 cm x 380 cm x 340 cm

Graphic design by Dongyoung Lee.

With special thanks to GGz Centraal Zon & Schild, Stichting Beautiful Distress, Mondriaan Fonds and Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.