Westbroekpark, Den Haag
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Hardly anyone who visits the Westbroek Park misses 'Het Gesprek'.
At the restaurant on the edge of the terrace is a table with two colourful, life-size ceramic figures. A man and a woman, facing each other. The remarkable thing is that the man is wearing a mask with glasses and the woman is dressed in a dress with a hat with ears entirely in tiger print.
The sculpture immediately raises questions: Why is the man wearing a mask and why is the woman wearing a tiger dress? Are they trying to hide their true form? You can think what you like about it: in interviews, the artist Berry Holslag has emphasised that her sole intention was to stimulate the viewer's imagination.
Unfortunately, the figures proved to be more than just a means of stimulating the imagination. Eight years after its placement, the sculpture was found decapitated. Burglars had torn off the heads and used them to smash the windows of the nearby restaurant. In 1990, two new heads adorned the statue.
Berry Holslag is known for her ceramic objects in cheerful colours. However, when the artist from The Hague graduated from the Free Academy in 1967, she worked in wood. She made constellations of thick branches, trunks and stumps, which she had polished after stripping the bark. In the course of time, she applied an occasional touch of colour with paint, gradually working more and more with ceramics. Across the street from her studio, she discovered the ceramics workshop 'Structure '68', where she was allowed to experiment. She still maintains a close relationship with it. Thus, ceramics gradually gained the upper hand and a large number of colourful human figures emerged in her oeuvre, which are remarkably present here and there in The Hague and beyond.