Joana Schneider, Spectrum, 2022*

*Art in the stairwell.

Enter the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, take the stairs to the first floor, and you’ll find two monumental works by Joana Schneider (1990) hanging opposite each other.

From a distance, they appear to be brightly coloured abstract paintings, one of which slowly fades from orange up to yellow, green and then blue at the top, while the work opposite continues from its blue top down through purple, pink, and red at the bottom. Together they form one whole loop of the colour spectrum. They could also be a metaphor for light and its composition from all these colours, a scientific phenomenon that fascinates many artists, including Schneider. As the threads glisten in the sunshine, their colours reflect across the walls of the stairwell, changing throughout the day with the movement of the sun.

From close-up, these Spectrum reveals the process of its making, woven together like a traditional textile artwork. Instead of cotton twine, these works are actually made from old fishing rope wrapped in thread made from recycled plastic bottles. The combination of craft with sustainability plays an important role in Schneider’s work, who is best known for her monumental textile masks and nets. She uses traditional techniques learnt from people in the Dutch while at art school in The Hague. These techniques are also used for fishing nets in Schiedam’s local herring fishing industry.

Joana Schneider (1990)
Spectrum, 2022
Fishing wire, thread from recycled PET bottles

Image: Joana Schneider, Spectrum, 2022. Photograph: Gerrit Schreurs