Making Connections

Tineke Bruijnzeels and Cally Trench
Curated by Loucia Manopoulou
South Hill Park, 2020

Cally Trench's homepage

Making Connections
Photograph Album

An exhibition of photographs, drawings and films by Tineke Bruijnzeeels and Cally Trench, which invited visitors to discover linkages and enjoy multiplicity, pattern and repetition.

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 17
Cally Trench, Photograph 17

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Artificial grass for model making (17/52)
Cally Trench, Hands of Sumi Perera, 29th October 2018

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 22

Cally Trench, Photograph 22

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Laetiporus (22/52)
Cally Trench, Hands of Mary Yacoob with an initial sketch for 'Anomaly', 30th October 2018

Tineke Bruijnzeels: Circle and Cally Trench: Artists' Hands

At the heart of this exhibition were two photographic projects: Tineke's Circle and Cally's Artists' Hands. The artists emailed each other a photograph every Sunday from 5th August 2018 to 28th July 2019, which Cally posted on this website: Circle and Artists' Hands

Tineke Bruijnzeels, an artist from the Netherlands, and Cally Trench, an artist from England, first met on their Fine Art BA, and had previously worked together on two year-long drawing projects, most recently in 2013-2014: 365 Drawings 365 Dessins

In 2019-2020, Tineke and Cally continued sending each other a weekly photograph for a further year. Cally went on photographing Artists' Hands, and Tineke made a series of photographs of Circles: Circles and Artists' Hands

In all these projects, Cally and Tineke essentially kept each other company, provided a structure and a discipline. They chose not to discuss their work, but noticed synchronicities and shared interests.

Watch Making Connections: Cally Trench and Tineke Bruijnzeels in conversation with Loucia Manopoulou.

South Hill Park curator Loucia Manopoulou writes:

Making Connections was an exhibition celebrating human relationships, companionship, observation, nature and the hand. Tineke Bruijnzeels's Circle photographic project was based on observation, predominately of nature, where she noticed patterns, shapes and colours. Cally Trench's Artists' Hands started with observing and drawing her own hands, before it evolved into a photographic project where she visited artists in their studio in order to photograph their hands.

Photographic projects were translated to, and experienced in, the physical gallery space. In juxtaposition to the photographs on Cally's website, where the photographs are presented side by side, creating an accidental relationship between the two photographs, the display of the photographs in the gallery space offered a handful of possible connections to emerge. The perceptive viewer was called upon to walk around Tineke's specially-constructed elliptical table and look and observe her photographs, and to study Cally's photographs on the wall. The interpretation, and the finding of connections between the two photographic projects, was effectively left open to the visitor.

This exhibition also brought to our attention the importance of drawing and the hand. The hand is one of the most complex and beautiful pieces of natural engineering in the human body. The 'tool of tools', as Aristotle defined them, hands are the instrument of creation: the spirit becomes matter through the action of hands. Artists have emphasised the expressive possibilities of the hand, creating drawings to represent their emotions and identities, and to study the human body.

Drawing is a spatial as well as a haptic exercise. It merges the external reality of space and matter with the internal reality of perception, emotion and mental imagery. Tineke's drawings speak of how she feels, referencing how she obsessively follows rules that she set herself, while Cally is following a long tradition of artists that express their feelings through the representation of hands.

I found it fascinating how the two artists, one working from Buckinghamshire, England and the other from the Netherlands, found a way to keep each other company in their creative journeys.

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 6
Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 7
Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 8

Tineke Bruijnzeels
Shadow (6/52) / Half-winder (7/52) / Hosta leaf (8/52)

Tineke Bruijnzeels: Circle

For years I have been noticing visual links, especially in nature. I am amazed at how the wind shapes clouds, and how water shapes sand and snow. The resulting patterns are so much alike! Sometimes during this project the next image just presented itself to me. The connection needed to be a visual one: shape, colour, rhythm or composition. Very different things can look similar: the trunk of a tree can look like a pattern on a beach. I also observed that in the built environment patterns and shapes are often inspired by the natural world.

I took every photograph with my mobile phone (an Iphone 5 or 7). Not knowing where this project would take me, I chose the square format.

I took an element from my previous photograph and used that as the starting point for the next one. This element might be shape, colour, composition, subject or anything else. The 52nd image created a link between the 51st and the first, so completing the circle. In the exhibition, my Circle of photographs were presented on an oval 'table', taking the viewer on a visual journey, with no beginning and no end. This endless circle is not posssible on the website.

There is another difference between the photographs on the website and in an exhibition: online photographs are lit from behind, whereas the light shines on the surface of printed photographs.

Rekha Sameer: "I love how you see the world ... and patterns. I love the flow of these images ... beautiful and so sensitive ..."
Philip Lee: "Tineke's photographs are fascinating, many-layered, and do what all good art does: they help us see the beauty of the world in unexpected places and ways. There's a wow factor when you first see them and then there is the riddle of their sequencing and making."
Cally Trench: "What I most admire is the way that Tineke's photographs compel me to engage fully in the act of looking: recognising patterns, similarities and connections. This makes the series of photographs both emotionally and intellectually enjoyable."
Tineke Bruijnzeels: Making the 'Circle' table
Tineke Bruijnzeels: Making the 'Circle' table
Tineke Bruijnzeels: Making the 'Circle' table
Tineke Bruijnzeels: Making the 'Circle' table

Tineke Bruijnzeels: Making the Circle table

Making the table was much more of a challenge than I thought!

I joined four fibreglass circles (from mosquito nets) and laid them on the floor of my studio. With two pieces of string I shaped the circle into an ellipse: not a very mathematical way, but it worked for me. I laid out paper within this ellipse and made a pattern of 20cm wide. Having laid out all the 52 photographs on the paper pattern, I was able to decide where the cuts in the table top should be. I did not want the parts of the table to join in the middle of a photograph.

The table had to be cut in several pieces to be able to send it from The Netherlands to England; eight pieces seemed manageable. So I cut the paper pattern in eight pieces, and transferred those onto MDF, and with a jigsaw I cut out the eight segments. I painted them white and joined them with the help of 192 screws. I attached the legs, 70 cm height, and after having turned the table on its legs I discovered that this height is too unstable for an exhibition without constant invigilation. I decided to lower the table to 30cm, and this worked fine. Finally, I stuck the 52 photographs on.

Packaging was another challenge; DIY stores don't sell boxes of 150 x 40 x 22cm ... So I made two boxes out of discarded cardboard supplied by a friendly neighbour with a furniture business. After this job I have no intention to start making art using cardboard!

Cally Trench, Photograph 46

Cally Trench
Left hand of Cize One with 'Urban Authenticity' on the wall of
Swanley Mills Tattoos, 27th April 2019

Cally Trench, Photograph 47

Cally Trench
Hands of Claire Deniau, 9th April 2019

Cally Trench: Artists' Hands

For me, hands are as individual and as expressive as faces. When taking the photographs, I looked for a characteristic or revealing gesture, pose or action. This fascination with hands started with drawing my own, and observing their variation, flexibility and character.

Photographing artists' hands was a wonderful experience of travelling to artists' homes and studios or a nearby park, seeing their latest work, catching up on news, eating and drinking, and, on one occasion, swimming in the sea. It was the opposite of my usual experience as an artist of solitary activity in the studio.

These photographs are a recognition of how hands are both universal and particular. We all have them, and they are all individual. Along with our brains, our hands, with their opposable thumbs and extraordinary flexibility, have determined what we are capable of. Artists in particular are defined by what their hands and brains can make.

I took the photographs (on a Nikon digital SLR camera) in consultation with the artists, in order to create images that are characteristic of the artist as well as visually interesting. For each artist, I took up to fifty photographs of several different poses. The final part of the process was the weeding down of the photographs until one remained. The others were deleted. During that process, I was looking for rhythms, rhymes and echoes.

Annie Rapstoff: "A really rich selection of actions and identities."
Rosina Godwin: "They are all so unique and convey a lot about the artist's practices and interests through their hands."
Philip Lee: "Cally's photographs are full of character, of the artist herself and of the artists whose hands she has photographed, and tell us something poignant, significant, and new about artists' hands."

In this exhibition, the photographs were presented as signed and framed prints, installed on the walls of the galleries in clusters. The fifty-two photographs were printed in pigment ink on Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper, image size 20 cm wide. Thank you to Christopher Clack, Dulwich Prints and Printing.

Thank you to the artists: Nick Trench, Lydia Julien, Neile Wright, Philip Lee, Lorna Cassidy, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Perfect, Alex Dewart, Mervyn Diese / Original Syna, Jim Attewell, Monika Tobel, Mandee Gage, Roger Perkins, Rekha Sameer, Susan Elaine Jones, Sumi Perera, James Vinciguerra, Gloria Sachs (1928-2019), Olympia Polymeni, Silvia Ziranek, Mary Yacoob, Tom Christy, Ms Tammam, Tony Moody, Saliha El Houssaini, Patrick Jeffs, John McDowall, Steve Blacksmith, Noel Grassy Macken, Sophie Loss, Alan Franklin, Linda Francis, Nick Bodimeade, Junko Rathmell, Guy Tarrant, Christie Brown, Pete Mountford, Vicky Vergou, Malgorzata Bialokoz Smith, Annie Rapstoff, Paul Amey, Ritu Saxena, Graham Hudson, Kay Sentance, Cize One, Claire Deniau, Linda Antalova, Imogen Welch, Ahmed Farooqui, Daniel Lehan, and Tineke Bruijnzeels.

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 20
Cally Trench, Photograph 20

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Cover (20/52)
Cally Trench, Hands of Olympia Polymeni with a 'Prayer Drawing', 4th November 2018

An Accidental Relationship

The artists did not discuss their choice of photographs and there was no planned relationship between the two photographs posted each week. However, they discovered that placing two unrelated images side by side creates an accidental relationship between the two photographs. Viewers (and the artists themselves) inevitably perceive connections and similarities. This is a natural human instinct.

Olympia Polymeni: "It's mad how they relate ... ! The similarities and reference between the two is even more striking and deeper! I'm so excited and impressed; I was looking at mine with its 'match' and I couldn't believe it, or think of a better one!
Val McFarlane: "I really enjoyed the contrasting pairs. Tineke looking at 'everyday' natural scenarios with a creative lens and producing beautiful images and Cally looking at very practical manipulative tasks and reminding the viewer of the variety of skills our hands adapt to."
Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 11
Cally Trench, Photograph 11

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Beach (11/52)
Cally Trench, Hands of Jim Attewell at 3.45 on 22nd June 2018

Tim Rawson: "... where you show your hands photo next to [Tineke's] beach photo reminded me of Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. Similar juxtaposition of images:"
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.'

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Untitled

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Untitled

Tineke Bruijnzeels
Untitled drawings

Tineke Bruijnzeels: Untitled Drawings

My drawings reveal more of my interest in the obsessive following of rules that I set myself. For these Untitled drawings I set myself very strict rules: working within a 12 x 12cm square, using an 8B pencil only (on Arches paper), drawing simple lines. I like working on a small surface for hours on end.

Cally Trench, Hands 2

Cally Trench
Hands 2 (Ink on watercolour paper)

Cally Trench: Hands Drawings

Lifesize drawings of my hands, drawn from life. I drew my right hand with my left hand and vice versa.

Horizontal Lines by
 Cally Trench

Horizontal Lines
on YouTube (26 sec)

Cally Trench: Two films

Cally showed two very short films: Horizontal Lines, in which altered photographs flash past, and Hand, a short animation film made up of drawings that Cally made of her left hand, which appears to drum on a surface or maybe play invisible musical instruments.

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 51

Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 52
Tineke Bruijnzeels, Photograph 1

Tineke Bruijnzeels
Lights (51/52) (Published 21st July 2019)
Sky (52/52) (Published 28th July 2019)
Bridge (1/52) (Published 5th August 2018)

Tineke Bruijnzeels

My art practice varies from installations to minimalist drawings and layered paintings.

More and more I realise that the starting point for my work is spiritual. For many years I have made work where the small repeated gesture resulted in a larger objects and installations. The small is always part of a bigger whole, like the cells in my body, every drop in the ocean and any planet in the Universe. In this exhibition, each one of the 52 photographs is an essential part of the visual story.

My work is usually made by repeating one single act; either by adding or by taking away. I let 1001 ping-pong balls levitate in the air; I glue 44,000 rubber bands together. I apply many layers of varnish, sometimes 350, sometimes 50. Each act, however small, is part of the final work. Like every second is an essential part of a day, a year, and a century. Like every breath is part of life. Time is intertwined with my work, which often takes months, and sometimes years to make.

After living in several countries over the last 29 years, I now live and work back in the Netherlands. I have a BA in Graphic Design and Advertising from Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten Rotterdam (now Willem de Kooning Academy), and a BA in Fine Art from BCUC (now Buckinghamshire New University).

Tineke Bruijnzeels's website and Tineke Bruijnzeels on Instagram

Cally Trench, Photograph 44

Cally Trench
Hands of Graham Hudson throwing, 2nd May 2019
(Published 2/6/19)

Cally Trench, Photograph 10

Cally Trench
Hands of Mervyn Diese / Original Syna, 22nd July 2018
(Published 7/10/18)

Cally Trench

Cally Trench is an artist whose work includes drawings, short films and board games. One of her concerns is with the human body, and she makes drawings of her own and other people's faces, bodies, hands and feet. Cally has an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. She lives and works in Buckinghamshire, England.

Cally Trench's homepage and Cally Trench on Instagram

Loucia Manopoulou

Loucia Manopoulou is a curator and researcher who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art.

Loucia has worked in a wide range of creative and cultural environments for more than 20 years, both in Greece and in the UK, including commercial galleries, museums and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Currently, a Trustee at Making Space, Havant and 318 Ceramics, Farnham.

Loucia holds an MRes (Distinction) in Crafts (2017) from the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, and an MA in Design Management (1999) from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College.

Currently, she is Curator at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell and PhD candidate at University for the Creative Arts, investigating curatorial practice as a mode of research.

Loucia Manopoulou's website

Cally Trench's homepage