The Monument of Consolation is an immense artwork, using handkerchiefs as the building blocks. The cloth handkerchief has fallen out of favour, owing to the rise in popularity of disposable tissues. This item with a thousand uses which could offer so much solace over the course of a human life now seems to be nearly extinct.
The countless specimens that Stef received after placing a public appeal are for many far from just ordinary pieces of cloth, but have served as beacons in difficult times. Gathered together in the Monument of Consolation, they represent humanity in all its variation: large, small, coloured, white, worn-out, cheerful, stained, tattered or new, dull, wrinkled or neatly creased, with or without label, edging or message.
The Monument of Consolation slowly became a grand, undulating 8-by-2-metre epic work, connecting humanity in all its variation in an inimitable way, acting as a junction of life.
Here, as in all her work, Stef expresses her fascination for individuals and groups, for the interaction between single entities and the masses. Loneliness and the hope of connection are her core concepts.
Désanne van Brederode on the ‘Monument of Consolation’:
‘Little squares of cloth take on human form, just like that – becoming fleeting angels, winged ballerinas, animated little tufts of cotton rags, smelling of soap-powder, ironing and youthful memories. Found objects with their associations, colourful as roses, dragonfly wings, some decorated with candy-like monograms, with a silky gloss, referring to names that are now seldom spoken…’
In 2014 this work is included in the artcollection of the Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam Holland.
Monument de la consolation
Monumento de consolación
Monumento de consolação
Monumento di consolazione