Hester Oerlemans (Schijndel, 1961), a Dutch artist living in Berlin, has an endless fascination for the mundane. This is expressed in her drawings, paintings, installations and objects in public space. She was trained as a painter and also has a background in graphic design, which is shown in her use of language as a visual means, and in the connection she draws between language and imagery.
Oerlemans’s images have a colourful, light, bright appearance – but at the same time, they take a very critical position. She shows the small and big things that make up our daily reality. Her recent drawings of colourful flip-flops, for example, are a seemingly playful reference to the drama of millions of refugees forced adrift by war and poverty.
Oerlemans often works with pre-existing objects, which she subtly alters to ‘turn the world on its head’. She twists things upside down and rearranges them, building an idiosyncratic universe in the process. This is illustrated by the thirty-two office tables she stacked on top of each other to create a nearly seven-meter-tall tower: Kantoortafeltoren (Office table tower, 2012). This work was nominated by Deutsche Bank to become a permanent installation in the city centre of Berlin.