Karen Boersma

Organic primeval lines.

Lines are the primary building blocks of my drawings, paintings and objects . Each new work starts with me leading a line across the surface to be painted or drawn on. Other lines emerge with one single reaction, responding to the first line, so that capricious works are developed, leading to the most diverse revelations and possibilities of interpretation. 

The way people deal and interact with each other is one of the most important aspects in my work: interpersonal contacts and day-to-day behaviour as well as social space of a community in a political, social and natural context - these aspects are all lines from an invisible network, that reflects itself in my abstract compositions.

The materials and instruments with which I work are not always “conventional”. As basis for my paintings, I often use woven materials, precisely because of their own mechanical pattern or structure. It is this mechanical pattern that is then connected or intertwined with the spontaneous painted lines. Thus the basis links itself - another definition of lines – with often unconscious environmental impressions. 

My proceedings are not finished with “the final brush stroke”. For me, the viewers’ interpretations are like surprising gusts of air, which give additional dimensions to my work and make the lines continue. At this point, the communicative effect arises, or as to refer to Roger Ballen: “ If you look around, there are wires anywhere. What is their meaning? Connection? Communication? But wires are also the things which wrap or tie up ideas or people. And there is the formal interpretation of the wire; that one which is drawn in a drawing or runs through a painting”.


Henk Peeters (1925-2013) wrote about my work:

“Returning to the open-mindedness of the child is priority in her work. She clearly refers to the illegible, uncontrolled writing without further indications that was already announced in the fifties. The emphasis is on a common denominator, a spontaneous expression of direct life impulses with a central role of the subconscious. She pulls out all the stops: all criteria of art like the idea, composition and so on are sidelined. For her it’s important to have multiple emotions in less information. The motives of a happy feeling or even the reverse are not expressed in lines. It gives some insight into her work, but almost all criteria are absent to measure quality. What remains is everything, yet not much.”