Lily van der Stokker brings childlike drawings and "nonshouting feminism" to Tate St Ives

By Mark Sheerin | 27 May 2010
A pink cloud like mural with "I am an artwork and I am three years old" in speech bubble

(Above) Lily van der Stokker, I am an artwork, 2004, acrylic paint on wall and 220 x 300cm Feature, New York. © the Artist. courtesy Air de Paris, Paris

Exhibition: Lily van der Stokker – No Big Deal Thing, Tate St Ives, St Ives, until September 26 2010

The last great taboo in art appears not to be death, sex or religion. Instead, Lily van der Stokker suggests it is niceness.

The Dutch artist works in coloured pencil and pastel colours. She draws on A4 paper and then expands her decorative pieces to cover gallery walls.

With this childlike approach, hardly suited to any other themes, van der Stokker looks at beauty, love, relationships, and the family. Hers is an everyday world.

To some, her largest UK show to date will look out of place in a contemporary gallery. She has already exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.

So it has to be said that van der Stokker's naïve and feminine art is calling some of those major taboos into question after all.

Visitors to St Ives may find themselves wondering why mainstream art is so solemn or so removed from the creativity of so-called ordinary folk.

If so, it will be job done for van der Stokker. She calls her work "nonshouting feminism". You might also call it the softly, softly approach.

Open 10am-5.20pm daily.Admission £5.75/£3.25).

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