Sijben Rosa: Bewaard

Sijben Rosa (they/them) is a Dutch artist interested in how creating objects and choreographing situations around them can foster social connection. Bewaard (Kept) is the outcome of Sijben’s months-long, community-oriented commission. For this, they collaborated with four people in The Netherlands whose sense of mortality is heightened due to aging or illness. Through conversations each collaborator, together with Sijben, set out to identify meaningful objects from their personal surroundings. These ranged from a pinball machine and a BDSM knife, to a nettle leaf and fur coat. However idiosyncratic, these objects speak to their life stories, encapsulating the lasting, personal values identified by each.

Inspired by these objects as conversation pieces in themselves, Bewaard consists of an installation of biodegradable sculptures created by Sijben. Warped in both scale and form, the artist uses color as a means to further portray their collaborators. For example, charcoal-like tones echo the black ink of tattoos, and reddish hues are borrowed from a cherished painting of Jesus Christ. For Sijben, a crucial component of these artworks is their respective afterlives – whether bequeathed to the collaborators’ close communities; incorporated into their own burials; held onto within their homes; or destined to disintegrate. Contingent in nature, objects may come and go over the course of the exhibition, in unison with the chosen bewaarder (in English, “keeper”).

An exploration of how objects attain significance and value through lived experience, Bewaard by Sijben Rosa is curated by Rosa de Graaf. This presentation marks the last iteration of Kunstinstituut Melly's Solo Duets exhibition series. Begun in 2018, Solo Duets involved commissioning artists to create work, which was then presented with existing artworks by the same artist, contextualizing this with their artistic research and trajectory.


Sensory Map

Our exhibitions may be overly stimulating for neurodiverse visitors. To address this, we’ve developed a sensory map of our galleries. This map serves as a preparation guide for your visit and aids in navigating the exhibitions. It includes all current sensory stimuli present in the exhibition. The map is available on location and digitally via this link.




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