Nelleke Cloosterman is a painter who lives and works in London. She received her BFA and MFA in Belgium at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Gent and became a HISK alumnus in 2021.
Inspired by vanitas symbols and daily life, Cloosterman creates a universe without human presence, but with traces of it left behind. Magic 8-balls, empty beer bottles, wine glasses, playing cards, flowers and jewellery are surrounded by insects and silence.
In some paintings, Cloosterman puts those objects on the windowsill of another universe, while in other paintings she creates snapshots of the universe itself. They contain everyday elements that are distorted in a way that escapes logic or natural laws, such as birds flying high without wings or a flower garden that presents vegetation from every season.
All these elements function as subtle disruptions by which Cloosterman distorts reality in a manner that the spectator would still accept through a personal expansion of belief.