flora valeska woudstra

lichaam - literair - taal - tekenen

in mijn werk als kunstenaar schrijf ik, maak ik tekeningen en organiseer ik verschillende momenten die mensen samenbrengen. hierbij kijk ik naar de invloed van (en relaties tussen) lichamen, en vormen van belichaming. het oplopen van hersenletsel in 2019, en hoe dit mijn eigen somatische ervaring veranderde, maakt hier deel van uit.
ik werk vanuit de nieuwsgierigheid naar hoe een gedeelde handeling, tekst of tekening een correlatie kan vormen met, en door kan werken in het lichaam – en de verschillende gevoelslagen, ervaringen, symptomen en geschiedenissen die door lichamen heen bewegen.

GRIEF’S HORSES (2020 – 2022) - composition of photographic print on paper, text on carbon paper, 29,7cm x 71,7cm - part of a series of analogue photographs and texts, excerpt from exhibition view of my solo "GRIEF IS A DAILY PRACTICE", between march and may 2022, in Daily Practice. the black and white photograph shows light coming through a fragment of a horse's manes and fur and the the text reads: "being here is to ask and envision how a space can hold grief, shared, sheltered, unseen, mutual and diverse. and just as much: how one can bring grief into a space. like a summoning, a gathering of thin lines."
GRIEF’S HORSES (2020 – 2022) - composition of photographic print on paper, and handwritten text on ripped paper from a previous grief ritual, 29,7cm x 65 cm - part of a series of analogue photographs and texts, excerpt from exhibition view of my solo "GRIEF IS A DAILY PRACTICE", between march and may 2022, in Daily Practice. the black and white photograph shows the shoulder and velvet ribs of a dark grey horse and the text reads: "he cannot die".
SILENT GRIEF DINNER (2022) - a guided grief ritual held during the finissage of "GRIEF IS A DAILY PRACTICE". for the duration of two hours, eleven invited guests and i were seated on the ground at Daily Practice, surrounding a composition of candles and handmade wooden bowls on a long, folded cotton cloth. after a reading and gentle guidance, five courses were served, which we ate in silence. each course held an element of grief, offering a means to explore grief's physicality through digestion and taste, as well as it being both a shared and solitary experience.
UNTITLED (2021 – 2022) - exhibition excerpt from "GRIEF IS A DAILY PRACTICE" depicting a series of drawings and drawn text, various sizes on various kinds of paper, colour pencil, pen, water colour, tape. the drawings show reclined bodies making an attentive hand gesture, and the texts read "listening for body voice" and "the body turns entirely spirit".
BODIES HORIZONTAL, LISTENING (2022) - poetic essay written for Stephan Blumenschein's publication 'We Were Listening to Records'. in the piece i look into parallels between listening to sound and songs and listening to physical pain, approaching both as landscapes and practices. design by Bram van den Berg.
SUNDAY MORNING WITH LOGAN FEBRUARY (2022) - poetry event at Shimmer. through poetry, dialogue and a collective reading experiment Logan February, myself and our audience explored whether translation can be seen as an act, or labour, of solidarity, as a form of closeness, or getting-closer – through distant, differing bodies. photographs by Jason Hendrik Hansma.
WE ARE THE RAIN ON THE OPEN WINDOWS (2022) - text piece written for Shimmer's alternative newsletter project that thinks through ways of expanding the accessibility of their archive. based on their archival material, the text piece explores the notion of 'image caption' as a poetic space, and blue wavy lines indicate that the text can be read in multiple directions. a voice-recorded version of the text can be found on Shimmer's website. design by Christophe Clarijs
LISTENING FOR BODY VOICE (2019 – 2021) - watercolour, pencil and pen on paper, 15cm x 21cm - series of drawings that form a practice of mapping physical symptoms. the drawn texts read: "voice as torch" and "intensities - if i could i would just burn and burn and burn - body map - fire - heat".
RITUAL 01 FOR S. (2021) - excerpt from silent ritual carried out in Daily Practice, with Suzanne Weenink. as described by Suzanne in KUNSTLICHT MAGAZINE #4-2022, LABOUR OF LOVE: "[Flora] said she wanted us to sit in silence opposite each other, each carrying our own grief (...) She poured some tea and we just sat. (...) During the ritual, Flora was tearing up some sheets of paper and she wrote "Daughter." I wrote "Tremor" and "Mother" on the same piece of paper and placed it above "Daughter". We sat there with these words, which I was connecting to weakness and my health scares, as well as to social situations (...) Then, suddenly, I looked down and saw the sun coming in. The tree in front of the building meant the light was dappled; the leaves were trembling. I found it so beautiful. I thought, "Oh yeah, it's always beautiful when this trembling light comes in." Together with the words on the table, this created a deep insight: "Why do I judge one kind of trembling and admire another? If trembling leaves are so beautiful, why isn't the vulnerability of a trembling person also beautiful? Why is that considered weak?".
SPELLBOUND PAGES: A BOOK IS A BOND (2019) - performance i.c.w. Leon Filter and Valentina Curandi during the launch of 'On Disappearance', SpellBound Pages's first publication in an edition of 64 copies, with contributions from 12 artists, printed through mimeography and risoprint. SpellBound Pages is a publishing effort that rehabilitates the active verb of dying. during the performance we bound the books manually - the first half was bound just by ourselves, the second half with the help of the audience. November 2018, WALTER BOOKS, Arnhem.