artist-talk at The Library Project
Locus Amoenus

...." At home I like to be surrounded by plants and flowers. They are green, they are vibrant and most of all alive.
Abloom they reflect health, energy and peace of mind. And together they form a lovely vital paradise.
Hence my disappointment when I saw one the plants had begun to wither.
Unfortunately discovering even more plants were degenerating with age. The oasis slipped away.
Surely it would be nice if the elder leafs with their creases could retain that bright green, previously their own color.
Subsequently Locus Amoenus was born.

Oil paint and my camera were to be my tools to intervene in reality and stop the decay.
Just like the still life paintings from the 16th century I would use oil paint to portray these houseplants
in the way they catch your eye in their youth and show the beauty of their blooming height.
But instead of applying paint on canvas I painted directly on the plants.
Concealing the plants present condition and retrieving their long-gone state.
Subsequently I shot them as soon as the paint was dry.
Catching that moment where bright paint and old age intertwined into an appearance of a healthy state.

Only at the moment the photo was taken the plant would appear to have eternal life, before deteriorating any further.
Photography is a most powerful tool here as you are still inclined to believe you are looking at reality.
But a lively plant is not what you are actually seeing.
It is a dying houseplant subjected to my research on repairing perishableness.

Using flora in volatile still lifes and preserving that through photography is an excellent way to fight against decay.
The charming beauty of a flower hardly ever fails to betray.
But there are also many parallels present in real life, not in the least in Locus Amoenus.
The daily process of hiding ageing appearance is actually quiet well known in society
by all who hide through use of make-up; but is less familiar when applied on flora.
And because it is uncommon on plants, it takes a little longer to recognise the process.
Enabling you to look through the photos at the concept from a certain distance."....

Bert Weverling, galerie LWW, about Sanne
Nothing is what it seems
openings speech fleeting still lifes solo exhibition, 2013

Sannes art is difficult. The viewer will soon recognize the image.
Oh look, a plant, a mountain, etc. But exactly that is what the viewer is not looking at.
Sanne does not reproduce, she reconstructs. But you have to study her photos carefully to see it.

Sanne brings disorder. We do not see what we think we are seeing due to our brains,
which from their giant database tells us rapidly what we are seeing.
We actually need to look with our eyes.

Sanne works in series and it is a nice thing that her interventions change with every other series.
When we look at the stripped umbrellas it is perhaps most clear:
she gives them a new shape, gives them an improper colour and shoots them,
while our brains start to associate with a fly or a dancer.

With the series chlorophyl the title is helpful. The intervention is very subtile:
withered dead leaves get a new refreshing colour. The image no longer shows what it is, but what it was.
Sanne reconstructs reality.

In the manger you will find photos of leafs, which Sanne robbed of their life by cutting out their veins.
After which she places the green parts together like puzzle pieces, together but not fitting,
and suggests that life goes on. Deconstruction and reconstruction go alongside each other.

With the binoculars series the approach is different again.
We always set the binoculars in a way that one image appears clearly visible,
but when we omit that we will see two partly overlaying images. What if we enable both our eyes to watch separately?
Here Sanne refers to cubism that gives any angle and point of view equal attention.

When we look at her entire body of work, it seems to me the main theme is Sannes need to disorganize,
to mislead you in subtle way and gently create a growing awareness to the art of seeing.
Sanne investigates and constantly changes the point of view. I am already curious for the series yet to come.

Marieke Berghuis, Solv Art, about Sanne
Blooming Appearance
text blooming appearance web publication, early 2013

'Blooming Appearance' by Sanne Thunnissen (1982) shows a selection of images
that portray a sense of transience, ageing and the experience of ageing.
Thunnissen investigates transience in relation to nature, beauty
and the (lack of) power that accompanies (de)construction.

'Blooming Appearance' consists of a number of smaller series that continuously question what will perish and what will remain.
Daisies are strung on grey and white hairs. When the veins are cut out of leaves and mirrored,
they seem to resemble roots giving new life to the skeleton-less leaves.
Blooming flowers, a symbol for beauty at its height, smoke or burn.
Broken umbrellas are spray-painted and portrayed as glossy statues.
Toy soldiers melt onto an aluminum surface but seem to resurrect as carved statues.

Since 2009, Sanne Thunnissen photographs volatile still-lifes that she composes herself.
The images demonstrate the relationship between man and nature and balance delicately between aesthetics,
control and ignorance. The still-lives consist mostly of materials that Thunnissen finds in nature
and takes to her studio to deconstruct. Each separate component calls for new connotations,
leaving initial assumptions relating to the original object behind.

Anke Verhees, Andersom Art Fair, about Sanne
Andersom Art Fair, 2010

"Sanne's photographs possess a certain intimacy and detailed quality that startle.
Fragile images that resemble old-fashioned peep show boxes, the corresponding childlike innocence
and the excitement that looking through the peephole entailed. A breeze can disrupt the composition.
Exactly that fragile quality adds an intriguing vulnerability and temporality to the scene.
By photographing the still-life, Sanne saves it for eternity."