‘Soft Cities’

collages by Marte Haverkamp

With her exhibition ‘Soft Cities’ at Bradwolff Projects, Marte Haverkamp has woven together her passions for soft colours, textiles and the city. This series of large-scale collages made from recycled and naturally dyed textiles forms a fluid marriage between nature and the urban landscape. Haverkamp creates new worlds from urban architectural forms that are both instantly recognisable and confusingly unfamiliar.

These shapes are brought to life in primarily soft, natural tones produced by dying textiles naturally. Haverkamp gleans pigments from natural materials like avocado seeds, indigo and walnuts to craft her own palette. Even the vibrant indigo blue, that seems synthetic, is actually a plant-based colour produced from Indigofera tinctoria. The colours Haverkamp has selected evolve with the seasons, providing new hues with every iteration, adding more layers to the compositions.

Haverkamp’s creative process is a continuous quest for the new and the unexpected. The perfect imperfections inherent in natural dyeing create an organic approach to these pieces, reminiscent of an aimless wander through the streets of a city. The naturally dyed canvases are then carefully cut, trimmed and arranged into the right shapes, without shying away from the frayed edges. The variety of textures and colours overlap until a balanced image emerges, creating new spaces to (dis)inhabit.

Marte Haverkamp’s (1983) love of textiles took her to the AMFI Amsterdam Fashion Institute for a year, where she discovered that her heart lay with the material itself, rather than the fashion it creates. After studying Free Design (3D design) at the HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht) and many detours and experiments with different materials, Haverkamp has now returned to textiles.

Marte Haverkamp, ‘Soft Cities’, collages, 100x1400cm, recycled textile – naturally dyed with avocado seeds, nettle, iron, indigo, madder, reseda, rosemary, tea, onion peels & walnut, 2020-2021