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The DNA Room at Huis ten Bosch 2019

The DNA Room at Huis ten Bosch 2019 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

The DNA Room at Palace Huis ten Bosch is an art installation that comprises of nearly 60,000 handmade ceramic blocks that depict the DNA of the King and Queen and future Queen of The Netherlands. Additionally, it portrays a global citizen, a past portrait and a future portrait, where areas of the genome have been highlighted that provide engaging metaphors of our past and our future survival. It embraces the notion of inclusivity and diversity as the best means of our future survival. The installation documents small sequences of the royal couple’s DNA, but also proposes the wider significance of context when understanding, the self, evolution, institutions and the environment. Ultimately, the artwork is a request that we understand everything we do, and everything we are, as fundementally and inextricably interdependent. It is a request for a less anthropocentric outlook.

Memories 1,2 and 3 2019

Memories 1,2 and 3 2019 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

The human body and mind are the vessels that hold memories and store it in a unique way, individual to all. It carries the memory from the past through to the future. The more we bisect and analyse what a memory is the further we stray from being able to recreate it, we feel this intuitively. Depicted here are genes that enable memory formation and serves as a materialistic perspective. The paradox of losing the memory the more we analyse it is represented by the colour gradation to white. This also forms a beautiful silhouette that is a metaphor for the human body. This work explores the paradox of memory and its physical storage.

Matter in Grey 2018

Matter in Grey 2018 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Collection of the University of Cambridge

Concrete, self-healing concrete, mixed aggregate and handmade ceramic elements.

Photography courtesy of Paul Riddle Photography.

‘These beautiful and corporeal concrete panels are architectural on one hand and flesh-like on the other. The overall impression of the artwork is that of an abstracted tissue bank containing all the endeavours past, present and future of the building.’ Jacob van der Beugel

August 2018 saw the completion of a major art commission for the University of Cambridge Department of Chemistry. The commission is for the façade of the new Chemistry of Health building which will house researchers working to understand and combat disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

The work which adjoins the main entrance is a 10-metre long, 2.5-metre high series of 240 highly detailed, handmade, self-healing concrete aggregate panels...

Expression Repression (The Missing Story) 2016

Expression Repression (The Missing Story) 2016 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Private Collection

Stoneware Clay and Cut Books

Photography courtesy of New Art Centre.

This work explores society’s relationship with data and abstracted information, in particular genetic data. How should we as a society or individual read our genetic profiles and how does it help us in understanding ourselves?

Books have been rendered obsolete, having been sawn in two. The story they told, now half told, is indecipherable. We cannot read our identity from our DNA like a story. The other half is missing. These installations refer to the necessary editing processes in order to attain knowledge and information from certain systems.

Torn ceramics have been inserted into this genetic system that record the history of human touch and its own making upon its surface. Their inclusion between the pages represent the lost story, symbolic of our own history...

Pathways of Patients 2016

Pathways of Patients 2016 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Concrete, Liquid Rust, Steel and Recycled Aggregate

These works are the result of a collaboration with The ECSG, the Epidemiology Cancer Statistics Group based at York University. This group looks into the complexities of analysing haematological malignancies, such as leukaemia and lymphomas.

The work wishes to highlight that while socio-demographics are not a determining factor in occurrence of blood cancers, it does play a role in the outcome and survival rate of the more chronic conditions. This fact, similar in many other chronic conditions, needs to be highlighted and ultimately rectified.

The ubiquitous material of concrete has been used, because concrete can suffer from its own form of cancer. When the concrete surface starts to degrade it increases in porosity, allowing water to penetrate and compromise the integrity of the steel reinforcement bars. When this happens quite often rust can be seen leaching...

The Difference Being 2015

The Difference Being 2015 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Private Collection

Stoneware Clay

This work explores the emerging field of Epigenetics. Colours, textures and depth vary in an attempt to convey the metamorphic nature of ourselves and how our genes respond to our environment. We are in constant flux and our notion of the self is predicated on our surrounding context. We all respond to context in different ways.

What makes these same stretches of DNA sequence more or less colourful, protruding and expressed? What are the contributing external factors? We are more interdependent with our environment in a more profound way then we first realised. This is something that should be whole-heartedly embraced and understood.

Ceramics has a very important part to play in expressing this idea. It is very prone...

The North Sketch Sequence 2014

The North Sketch Sequence 2014 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, UK

Stoneware Clay and Hand-Mirrored Glass

Photography by Sylvain Deleu and Andrew Farrar

The North Sketch Sequence was conceived as an all encompassing ceramic experience. The DNA of The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and their son and daughter-in-law, Lord and Lady Burlington, has been translated into 650 large ceramic panels. Protruding ceramic blocks, organised into four columns, G A T C, represent the mitochondrial DNA of all four sitters. A fifth central portrait has been created that depicts ‘Everyman’. This contains miniature mirrors that reflect the faces of the viewing public, emphasising the importance of visitors to Chatsworth in a more democratic era.

The installation is an exploration of human identity, inheritance and ultimately an illustration of the human condition. The genetic understanding of oneself is tackled through themes of communality and uniqueness. Historically, inheritance at Chatsworth has...

Good Year Bad Year 2013

Good Year Bad Year 2013 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Private Collection

Stoneware Clay

An expansion on the Dutch 17th century vanitas theme, this work explores the differences of success and failure, intemperance and the meagre, through the use of colour, form and texture. The use of viticultural vessels and colour are metaphors for the development of the grape, and more generally one’s fortune or fate. What occurs to the grape from its budding to its bottling, i.e its environmental circumstances, chemical additions, terroir or inherited faxtors and maturing process, is similar to the development of a person.

A Hymn 2010

A Hymn 2010 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Artist’s Collection

Stoneware Clay

A work that captures the song and celebration of the atmospheric church choir.

Memento Mori 2007

Memento Mori 2007 - Jacob Van Der Beugel

Stoneware Clay

Photography by Sylvain Deleu

Memento Mori is a still-life that tackles the themes of excess and mortality. The piece is a contemporary response to the 17th century Dutch still-life. The installation comprises of close to two hundred ceramic vessels and consists of a spectrum of alcoholic containers, including imitation plastic cider bottles, crunched beer cans and traditional chianti bottles-with red marks to the reverse of the pieces. The excess of empty consumption is a vanitas, whilst the red flecking serves as the memento mori.