Last Friday I had a very good reason to go to the beach of Scheveningen (The Hague). At this beach lies the museum Beelden aan Zee. I was to early for the opening of Tirzo Martha’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands so could enjoy the beach, views and the sound of the waves.
Beelden aan Zee
Museum Beelden aan Zee is a unique cultural institution in the Netherlands; it is the only Dutch museum that focuses exclusively on contemporary international sculpture.
Tirzo Martha (Willemstad, Curacao, 1965) presents in Museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen his the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.
Tirzo Martha is an artist with a message. His work is politically and socially committed. Community feel and social commitment are two core values in the oeuvre of Tirzo Martha. With his work, Tirzo Martha provides insight into the untouched and contradictory elements of Caribbean society.
The work of Martha is colourful and full of imagination. Recurring themes include identity, religion, colonialism and the shadow sides of post-colonial Caribbeaun society, such as poverty and corruption. His artworks are often crated in collaboartion wit others.
The opening was very animated. Here’s an impression.
At the same time, Tirzo Martha’s work can be seen in the Hague Historical Museum, in the exhibition African Servants at the The Hague Court.
In this new exhibition the Museum tells the life stories of Willem Frederik Cupido, Guan Anthony Sideron and other African servants who, in slavery, were offered as presents to European courts during the eighteenth century.
For this exhibition Marha wanted to create a new portrait of Sideron (born in slavery in Curacao).
For Martha Sideron’s story is about the need to survive and make something of your life – as painful as Sideron’s forced departure as a child must have been, he had a good life at court in The Hague. The artist sees Sideron’s graceful signature as a sign of pride.
It is striking that the piece hangs upside-down. this is Martha’s way of upturning our view on the colonial past. According to the artist, we have to try see Sideron’s life from the reality of that time instead of projecting our own, 21st-centyry judgements.
The work of Tirzo Martha was featured in the United States (Brooklyn Museum), Germany, Portugal, Curaçao, Martinique, Santo Domingo and Cuba.
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