Alessandra Baldissarelli Bremm, Mandy den Elzen

The hidden wonders of Mandy den Elzen

Mandy den Elzen is a Dutch artist fascinated by the process of making visible the wonders of nature and its encounter with art.

In our routines is easy to forget to pay attention to the minutiae that make our world a wonderful place. On hurried steps, we are always looking forward to something that is not here: a meeting, what to do next, and even our dreams can take us off the present. It was precisely in one of these everyday activities, a food market,  that Mandy den Elzen was caught by the beauty of a fish gill.

Intrigued by nature’s ingenuity, Mandy separates organic material from its original functions and transforms its raw forms into displayable and compelling artworks. When in exhibition, these sculptures from nature invite us to take a closer look to a world of wonders that is usually hidden from the human sight. 


The morphology of fish - Art Rotterdam The serie ’ The Morphology of fish”  explores the frugal insides of various species of both salt and freshwater fish. These filamentous protein treads, known as ‘gills’, enable to transfer of water and exchanges of gasses and are of crucial function in the lives of these underwater creatures. The series of over 38 gills show how natural selection equipped these aquatic animals with their own optimised version of a filtering system, albeit with a delicacy and grandeur that seems to depict the…

Employing scientific-like approach, the artist rigorously selects internal organs of various animals and subjects them to a series of scrupulous actions. As a result, the organic materials alter their appearance and become unique and enigmatic objects seducing the viewers with their extraordinary shape, texture, tactility, and colour. Functioning like a microcosm encased in glass, Mandy den Elzen’s artwork sparks interest in its origins and reminds viewers of Renaissance cabinets of curiosities. The assemblies of collectable wonders that Mandy den Elzen creates not only manifest artist’s passion for nature and its aesthetics but also stimulate viewers’ imagination and encourage contemplation of hidden aspects of living organisms.

During the upcoming months, we will share information and curiosities about her project as an artist in residence at Mediamatic. You will have the opportunity to meet her in order to discuss your art projects together, and an exhibition of her work will take place at the Biotoop. Stay tuned!