Graduation Series: Chris Nelck

Fri 19 Apr

Meet Chris Nelck, a (de)Fine Art student at WdKA. Rooted in Rotterdam, Chris's artistic exploration delves deep into themes of identity and openness, shaping a distinctive practice. Alongside studying, Chris organizes engaging events, fostering community through shared culinary experiences.

Can you tell us about your graduation project focus?

"I'm weaving together various ideas to create a 1-on-1 performance piece, inspired by the exchange of secrets. My experiences in Norway during my exchange sparked the concept, where I began writing secrets in ceramic shells. This project aims to reclaim narratives surrounding identity and secrecy."

What drew you to this subject?

"The recurring themes in my work naturally led me here. I've always been fascinated by the dichotomy of openness and secrecy, especially concerning gender identity. This project serves as an exploration and reclamation of those narratives."

How did you develop this idea?

"It was an organic process, spurred by introspection and external influences like mythologies. For instance, the myth of Adam's navel and King Midas' secret resonate deeply with my exploration of hidden truths and self-perception."

Do you feel pressured as graduation approaches?

"Certainly. There's a sense of urgency to materialize my performance piece, but I'm learning to navigate the process with patience. The final presentation at school that is coming closer is quite daunting."

What excites you the most about your project?

"I'm eager to collaborate with my mentors, particularly Marian and Esma. Their guidance and thought-provoking questions have been invaluable. Additionally, witnessing the evolution of my concept into a tangible performance is pretty exciting."

What are your worries concerning the project?

"The prospect of the final presentation within the school environment is intimidating. Creating the right atmosphere to showcase my project amidst the school's limitations adds to the stress."

How has your journey at WdKA influenced your artistic growth?

"Transitioning from photography to fine art marked an important moment, granting me the freedom to explore conceptual realms. The nurturing environment and diverse experiences have been instrumental in shaping my practice."

Reflecting on your transformation, what's the most significant change since your first year?

"Confidence. Overcoming initial insecurities and embracing my identity has empowered me to assert myself and take ownership of my artistic journey."

How has your time at WdKA prepared you for your final project?

"The autonomy and creative freedom afforded here have been invaluable. My experiences, especially my exchange to Norway, have instilled in me the importance of self-initiative and patience. WdKA has been transformative, offering a space for personal and artistic growth."

What are your plans post-graduation?

"I plan to take a year to explore opportunities within the cultural sector, possibly through residencies or employment. Further studies are on the horizon, but I'm inclined to take a step back before diving into academia again."

What are your aspirations for the future?

"Ultimately, I aspire to establish my own studio, where I can create autonomous work uninhibited by external constraints. Personal connections, like the invaluable support from Lizan Freijsen, will continue to shape my journey."