'Playing with the time line and fluid origin of material and application in a cultural landscape.'
Gijs released his graduation collection under the working title 'Liquid Statue', which has developed on two tracks, firstly as a research into porcelain and secondly as application and fluidity of its use. One of the key ingredients in porcelain is the granite China clay, a raw material once of great value, but now threatened by time and technology. The China-Clay mines witnessed in Cornwall but also earlier during his study course in Jingdezhen China have left their marks on the landscape and refer to an industry that is slowly disappearing.
Choosing China-Clay (porcelain) as his main source, he started his research by questioning the identity of the raw material, the forms and uses which the raw material has explored in the past and how it relates to the rapidly changing values of our desirable possessions today.
He started by simply grinding the stoneware to grit and after that moved forward trying to create a flexible material. This has developed as an experimental research with the wish to develop further within different disciplines. For this purpose, a clear archive of over 170 samples has been made that explains the material in terms of its specific qualities and possible applications.
From the material research Gijs developed a series of bags, which are not only showing the technical qualities of the new material, but also translate in colour and appearance a strong reference to the original shape of the raw material.
A collaboration has been set up with the Arnhem based fashion designer Sjaak Hullekes, with whom he demonstrates the textile properties of the material. Working together Gijs further developed the material into a porcelain textile, from where pattern parts for an archetype jacket and trousers have been assembled with the binding qualities of the material.
Besides taking the stature of porcelain in question, the porcelain-cabinet has also known various uses and contents over time. The cabinet is often seen as just a functional interior piece, but mostly also loaded with an emotional and historical life course. By stripping the classical cabinet from its skin Gijs developed a series with a modular frame, where the user can change the cabinet according to his preference, usage, format or content.
The collection is a strong representation of his strength, bringing different worlds and values together, leading in surprising new possibilities for both applied and autonomous works.
“Like artefacts pulled from the ground, the objects reflect our valuable possessions of today, we move like porcelain statues, showing off our possessions.”