Rustling Earth by Ligia Popławska and Babs Decruyenaere at Valerie_Traan Gallery

  • Opens
    9 Mar 2024
  • Ends
    13 Apr 2024
  • Link
  • Location Antwerp, Belgium

In the duo exhibition Rustling Earth, the work of both Babs Decruyenaere and Ligia Popławska focuses on the relationship between human being and environment. Both, in different ways, capture a fragile balance in images.


Babs Decruyenaere creates work in very diverse media - from installations, mobiles and assemblages to photographs and photograms. Yet her oeuvre looks very coherent. It invariably originates in long walks, during which the artist collects things that present themselves. Decruyenaere is particularly fascinated by stones. "A stone, through its morphology, structure and texture, is the archive and library of the origin of life on earth," writes Wim Van Mulders. The attitude Decruyenaere adopts while walking - an interaction of acting and letting things happen – is continued in the studio, in the intuitive way she processes collected things into configurations.

Ligia Popławska shows work from two photo series, in each of which she depicts the human impact on the natural environment and, conversely, the impact of climate change on our senses and emotions. In 2017, when Poland's ancient Tuchola forest was devastated by a terrible storm and, during the same period, the artist was temporarily deprived of her sense of smell, it led to the photo series Fading Senses (2019-2023). This series, which includes portraits, landscapes and interior shots, testifies to the disturbed relationship between humans and the environment and attempts to evoke an ungraspable sensation, based on the realisation that climate change will increasingly affect the state of mind of many people. The photographs in the second series, Sensitive Territories (2023), were taken in Portuguese mountain regions recently ravaged by wildfires. With an inquisitive and speculative yet empathetic approach, Popławska focuses the lens on the fragility of the more-than-human environment.

© Ligia Popławska

© Ligia Popławska

© Ligia Popławska

© Ligia Popławska

© Babs Decruyenaere

© Babs Decruyenaere

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