Protective Blanket Series | 2018
Protective Blanket Series
“Scratched” is the first work represented in the paper Protective Blanket series. As a quest for a deeper and more profound exploration of the displacement theme Severijns started to examine the fundamental basic needs of people who are uprooted or displaced. At this very moment it is estimated that 65 million people are displaced worldwide – refugees, asylum seekers, victims of natural and manmade disasters.
Her search brought up many media images of aid organizations whose first action upon contact was to offer blankets. That is heartwarming intuitive gesture. An embracing blanket to help traumatized people feel safe, warm and looked after.
An additional source of inspiration of another form of displacement came from the images captured by Japanese photographer Manabu Yamanaku of homeless men wrapped in blankets. The striking impression is of men who lost so much but still hold on their blanket as a basic psychological and physical necessity for survival.
Constructed in her unique technique of hand-torn pieces of paper, the piece “Scratched” from the Protective Blanket Series is a re-conceptualization of a humanitarian protective blanket. Although it is often perceived as an ordinary object, a blanket is loaded with associations, connotations and expectations. It holds promise of care, warmth and protection. We are welcomed into the world in a blanket and we leave it in blanket. In the life time in between, we need physical, metaphorical and metaphysical protective blankets for our personal existence and wellbeing. Inside a blanket one can experience silence, clarity and peace, a sheltered escape from confusion, chaos and overload.
The hand-tearing technique, Severijns used in this artwork leaves the paper with a ruggedness and raw edges that are analogous to being torn away from all ties and belongings when displaced. The artist sewed pieces of paper on textile and processed them with the hand-torn pieces of paper. The patterns used on the blanket will symbolize the scars/scratches left from being torn, reflecting the psychological and physical hardships of displacement.
The final artwork in the paper Protective Blanket series will be shown during the Venice Biennale 2019.
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Image courtesy: Sigal Kolton
Technique: hand-torn Fabriano paper, acrylic, konjac, cloth, thread
Measurements: H: 184cm x W: 150cm
All images and text are copyright by Bianca Severijns 2018
Details from the artwork “Scratched” from the Protective Blanket Series 201S