How I Got Lost In The Wilderness Of Drawing – In The Maze Of Human-Nature Dynamics

At the Art Centre Schiedam, organized by the KunstWerkt foundation, an exhibition shone under the title New Impulse.

Our attention was drawn to the stunning work of Lisa van Noorden. Her creations are aesthetically appealing and meticulously drawn, yet imbued with a sharp edge that captivated our attention. Lisa herself appeared in the gallery to offer insight into her creative process.

Her latest work focuses on natural forms: flowers, plants, and animals. “It is a reflection of my personal view on beauty, but also on the strength, survival instinct, and cruelty inherent in the natural world.”

In the piece “Horns and Glory,” we see purple flower buds (Morning Glory) intertwined with horns of bulls and goats on a fractured background with sharp metal strips. Lisa spoke of her inspiration: “These flowers with hallucinogenic properties are often found in impossible places, amidst concrete or along highways. They are tough survivors. The flower, with its intrinsic survival instinct, symbolizes the power of nature to thrive, even in the most challenging circumstances. The bull and goat horns embody the resilience and determination of animals adapting to their environment and/or standing their ground despite human intervention and exploitation. The relationship between nature and human perception is explored, blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination.”

Alongside “Horns and Glory,” we see a piece featuring white lilies, “Lilies & Serpents,” in which snakes are concealed. Lisa emphasizes the contrasts between the enticing scent of the lilies and the threat of the snakes and sharp metal. The work is an exploration of contrasts and dualities. To contemplate the paradoxical nature of this composition—the alluring scent of the lilies, inviting closer examination, juxtaposed with the threat of hidden snakes and sharply curved metal, warning of potential danger and harm.

Lisa’s works are not static representations but complex constructions, as she cuts dibond prints into pieces and reconfigures them to create new layers of meaning. “It’s a raw disruption, but also quite satisfying to cut through that intensely crafted work with a saw. And meditative.”

Survival Strategy

Lisa’s work always revolves around resilience and survival strategy. That was also the theme she started with for this nature work. “Before this, I made many portraits. In them, I depicted the complexity of human identity and the various ways individuals protect themselves and adapt to challenging environments. From starlets who use their sexual allure to thrive in a venomous environment to child soldiers who wield their weapons to survive.” With this new collection, her focus shifts from humans to nature: animals, plants, and flowers… which, like humans, constantly evolve in their survival strategies.

We then approach a piece called “Panther & Tiger descending,” climbing down a tree with vines, heading towards prey. Behind them, an orchid is visible. “It’s not clear who will win, who will get the prey. The conflict, the survival of the toughest, is imminent. The orchid as a backdrop is a very tough plant, a sign of resilience and adaptability. The work is a glimpse into the eternal struggle for survival and confronts the viewer with the thrilling question: who will triumph?”

The last piece we see is called “Grip of Confusion.” “This work depicts a black panther restraining a sleeping or wounded girl and a leopard shielding a wounded boy. Are the children prey or are they being protected?” “Grip of Confusion” refers to the bewildering paradox inherent in the scene: on one hand, these majestic animals are protectors of their species, but on the other, they are forced to subdue those whose actions lead to the widespread extinction of their kindred.

Through this symbolism, viewers are invited to contemplate the consequences of human encroachment on wildlife habitats and the resulting conflicts within the natural order. The tension depicted in the artwork is like a poignant reminder of our responsibility to coexist harmoniously with the creatures that share our planet.

Ultimately, “Grip of Confusion” urges us to question our relationship with the environment and the ethical implications of our actions.

Her focus on resilience and strategy is consistent throughout her entire body of work, from portraits to her recent exploration of natural elements. The shift from human to natural motifs in Lisa’s work illustrates her ongoing evolution as an artist. Always embodying the struggle for survival, she challenges the viewer to reflect on resilience and adaptability.

Since graduating from the Willem de Kooning Academy in 1990, Lisa has always experimented with different forms and techniques but remains fundamentally a draftsman. Her current collection, with its spontaneity and energy, marks a new phase in her artistic journey.


2024 Groupexhibit Nieuwe impuls Kunstwerkt

2023 Groupexhibit Grachtengalerie

2022 Groupexhibit Grachtengalerie

2018 Groupexhibit  Stedelijk Museum Schiedam

2017 Represented by Mahlstedt Gallery New York

2016 Biennale Vught VanLoon Galleries.

2016 Groupexhibit Kasteel de Tongelaar, Mill

2015 Groupexhibit Grachtengalerie.

2015 Groupexhibit VanLoon Galleries.

2014 Groupexhibit VanLoon Galleries

2014/2015 Amsterdam Light Festival with Volte. See Amsterdam Lightfestival.

2014 Groupexhibit Grachtengalerie, Utrecht

2013 Group exhibit Galerie Leidse Lente.

2013 Group exhibit ICEC2013 Sao Paulo, Brazil

2013 Nomination Volte for DATA Award, Pittsburg Tech Counsil, Pittsburg USA.

2013 Groupexhibits Grachtengalerie, Utrecht

2013 Groupexhibit Smart Multimedia Art Festival. Michigan, USA

2013 Groupexhibit Kunsthal Haagweg, Leiden

2011 Groupexhibit Bob Smit gallery, Rotterdam

2011 Group exhibit, Bratislava, Slovakia

2010 Solo exhibit Center for the Arts, Rotterdam

2009 Group exhibit Brattleboro Art Museum, Vermont, USA

2009 Solo exhibit Umbrage gallery, New York, USA

Commissions (selection)

2013 S.O.R, design of large wall installation.

2013 Woningcorporatie Woonwijze Vught, design of large mural.

2012 Woningcorporatie Woonwijze Vught, design of interactive art installation.

2012 Jaarbeurs conference center Utrecht, design of interactive led-art installation.

2011 St Lukas Hospital Utrecht, design of art piece (wall).

2011 Concept for interactive art installation, Hoogstraten, Belgium.

2010 Design of art piece (wall), Boschoord.

2010 Concept for interactive art installation, Perth, Australia.



Read about my work in these two articles
Periferal Arteries

Publications about my art have appeared in the following newspapers and magazines:
Peripheral Arteries, Rotterdams Dagblad, de Telegraaf, Maasstad, Sign+, Fier magazine, Invitation to Art, Vrij Nederland, Het Algemeen Dagblad. Linda., Museumjaarkaart magazine, NRCnext, MarieClaire, Esta, Margriet, Carp, Textiel leeft, Schooldomein.

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