Niels van Bunningen 🇳🇱

Niels van Bunningen is a socially engaged maker of monumental sculptures and installations. Based on his experience as leader of the metal workshop of studio Job and as one of the driving forces of art workshop Arnhem, he knows how to translate his transhistorical stories and social ideals into a poor but noble material, metal.

“A Sick Man’s Dream”

In this work he describes the archetype of the fallen soldier, the disillusioned champion of a defunct ideology. Patched up and sent back into the fields, repaired but not healed.

At the same time, this work is a representation of the precarious situation that a young artist can find himself in after graduating from the academy. The moment when artistic ambitions and principles must be given a place within a society with contrasting values.

Richly detailed personal anecdotes, mythical creatures and punk paraphernalia are made from found scrap metal. The whole suggests a kind of limbo, a timeless fall without the support of an acceptable world view. Part autobiography, part social indictment. After all, when he made this work he could not have imagined (but could have expected) that years later people would again be sent to the trenches.