When you think of art, you probably imagine something hanging on a wall, but that’s not how Dutch artist Suzan Drummen creates. Her glittering installations, featuring thousands of shiny glass pieces, beads, and jewels, are laid out right on the floor in carefully arranged mandala and textile-like patterns. The bright colors and shining elements make them look magical, while their placement causes viewers to stop and rethink how they plan on navigating the space.
Drummen uses pins to attach items to walls, but the pieces on the floor are simply laid down. There’s nothing holding them in place.
This means that for all the work that goes into them, these installations are rather fragile.
Though they’re meticulously arranged, Drummen says that she never creates a plan for her pieces beforehand. She says everything is spontaneous: “I check the light, the route of the visitors, the colors, the height, etc., on [the] spot. The whole atmosphere actually guides me. Every space requires something else and the installation grows slowly.”
Needless to say, the process of creating these pieces is a time-consuming one.
And the art is not at all permanent, although Drummen has created some permanent installations.
The artist says that when people realize the pieces are loose, they tend to get very excited. She wants her work to draw people in and compel them to examine it from a closer perspective, inspecting all the tiny components.
Now and then, people appear in Drummen’s pieces, making it look as if the material is growing over them.
She occasionally uses participants who sit or lie on the floor and allow themselves to be adorned with glittering jewels.
These bright, dizzying are really best seen in person to experience the intense impact of the reflective material. They can be overwhelming to stand next to.
“From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli,” she explains.
“That moment, of being able to take it all in or not, is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned, and intensified.”