Moeder en kind
Free, playful, happy, loving, caring. Those are the words that first come to mind when you look at the bronze 'Mother and child' by Rudi Rooijackers. Moreover, on its high pedestal on the lawn of Catharinaland, the 1962 bronze is full of movement. Dynamic, despite the use of large volumes.
In the early sixties, we also see this design with other sculptors from The Hague such as Bram Roth (1916-1995) and Theo van der Nahmer (1917-1989). This is not remarkable, because in the fifties and sixties there were many similarities in the work of artists from The Hague - painters and sculptors - so much so that we speak of the New Haagse School. The artists group Verve (1951-1957), among others, played an important role in the emergence of this art movement. Rooijackers was one of the members of the first hour.
During the Verve period, Rooijackers' sculptures were figurative, but rather static and angular. At the beginning of the sixties two changes occur. Rooijackers explored the terrain of abstraction and his figurative work - which he continued to make - became more fluid and loose, both in form and in surface treatment. The sculpture 'Mother and child' is an example of this. The child runs towards the seated mother, who almost falls backwards while catching the child. She stays in balance by throwing her legs in the air. Rooijackers chose to depict a climax in dynamics. Namely the moment when both mother and child extend their arms to each other, just before an intimate embrace.
The surface is rough in places, with scratches and hollows. This irregular structure contributes to the unforced character of the sculpture. The large shapes do the same. They are voluptuous and the figures are therefore sturdy. In their movements, however, they are frank and free.