Xandra Van Der Eijk(NL)

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Xandra van der Eijk (1985) is a Dutch bio-art researcher, designer, core tutor MA Ecology Futures at St Joost Institute of Visual Cultures, and participant of our first pilot program. After graduating from Graphic Design (BA) at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, she graduated from the Interfaculty ArtScience at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 2011. Since then she has been investigating natural processes and elements, where the concept of time is a recurring theme. Through many experiments and thorough theoretical research, these processes develop in contextual works with a strong visual component. She documents and describes, but never fails to allow space for poetry.

Van der Eijk received the Paul Schuitema-prize, the Bio Art & Design Award in 2017 and was nominated for the New Material Award and Kunstliefde Oeuvre Award in 2018. She presented her work RETREAT- a series of 3D-printed models of the foot of a receding glacier in Switzerland- at the Dutch Design Week in 2018. ‘It’s a research into dealing with ecological grief. As the impact of accelerating climate change is slowly revealing itself, we are confronted with how deeply our cultural identity is intertwined with the landscape. Imminent drastic alterations to the way we live cause profound feelings of unease, sadness, and detachment. Losing land to sea, losing ice to the sun, losing animals to history- how do we deal with this new notion of grief?’

During Milan Design Week in 2018, Xandra exhibited her project ‘Future Remnants’ (on the human-induced evolution of mineralogy) which is again part of the New Material Award Exhibition in 2019. This collection was also shown at the second edition of Collectible in 2019, a Brussels fair dedicated specifically to contemporary collectible design where Xandra was highlighted as one of the ten young designers to watch according to Dezeen.com: ‘She has garnered significant attention with her installations and objects, each of which deals with a key issue of the Anthropocene era and how this is exposed by the passing of time.’

Furthermore, Van der Eijk is an active member of design collective Dutch Invertuals, a research fellow at WAAG Society, and a curatorial team member at RAUM Utrecht. ‘My aim for 2019 is to advance, explore and deepen my research into ecological grief and the impact of climate change on our cultural identity as a result of a changing landscape. I want to contribute to Valley of the Possible by pushing the boundaries through art: creating awareness, shedding new light on what documenting or preserving a landscape could be and use this huge, human race-wide shared feeling of loss as a powerful tool to communicate about what is currently happening. Not to judge or blame, but to give access and insight into data and meaning to a side of climate change that has of yet been largely overlooked: the common sense of being that is ecological grief. ‘

For her residency period at Valley of the Possible, Xandra was kindly supported by Mondriaan Fund