Artist Milah van Zuilen works with plant materials that she collects during ecological fieldwork. For example, while surveying vegetation in natural areas, she finds leaves that she transforms into artworks. As a forest ecologist in training, she is fascinated by the human urge to organize, classify and dissect nature. In the exhibition 'Fieldwork' at the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, you see the disciplines of ecology and art come together.
In Milah van Zuilen's work, square shapes also play a central role — shapes that characterize the human perspective on nature and landscape. When classifying plants, species are also divided into separate boxes. Cartography, for example, also applies hard lines and square grids to draw boundaries and create order in the landscape. The exhibition 'Fieldwork' refers to these boundaries and organization, exploring the (complex) interrelationships between species. Dried leaves, tree bark, and imagery from textbooks and field guides come together in new compositions in the exhibition.
Milah van Zuilen (1998) graduated with honours from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2021. She is doing a pre-master program in Forest & Nature Conservation at Wageningen University & Research and interned at Het Hationale Park De Hoge Veluwe. Her graduation project was selected for the Best of Graduates exhibition, won the Ron Mandos Young Blood Award, and was included in the collection of Museum Voorlinden. Since then, she has exhibited her projects nationally and internationally.
Milah van Zuilen: Fieldwork will be exhibited from November 5 2023, to March 3 2024.