2. Pleun Moons – Huub Hannen Galerie

Pleun Moons, ‘Sharing the Harvest’, 2023, Performance, Huub Hannen Galerie (stand 69)

August is the month of the harvest: lushious plants, baskets full of vegetables, flowers in all colors and sizes. Traditionally, the hight of the harvest season was celebrated together with family, villages, or friends, and that moment people acknowledged the fields, the rain, and the earth for their harvest and their good fortune. 

While my labyrinth garden has been growing beautifully, sharing its harvest became a necessary thing to do. During Plateaukunst (Wanda Reiff), the possibility came along to share my harvest with many people at the same time. Inviting people to take part and eat from the table was both an intimate and weirdly challenging first encounter. The result was that meaningless pleasantries were passed as soon as people took the opportunity and ate the food. Traces of those encounters are in the conversations and memories, but can also be found in the linen cloth that bears the literal marks of the movement at the table in the colors of the table. Cherishing those memories, I will try to capture that essence on top of the existing traces on the linen by bringing it back to my studio and start painting. The linen then becomes a starting point for a painting, becoming a work that encompasses the whole process of growth, harvest, sharing, and painting.

Pleun Moons (1993) feels a strong connection to nature and its cycles. Rather than being inspired by or reflecting on nature, the search for a creating process that justifies the earth’s wildness, beauty, fluidity and mystique results in a collaboration with Mother Earth. The garden and the act of gardening are a manifestation of that collaboration, where the seasons, the moon and Moons’ actions and choices lead to a continuously transforming process. The garden has a history that is closely connected to the female identity; in beauty, fertility, the sensuality of flowers, or a woman’s garden as her magical and medicinal inventory. All of these aspects of the garden and the female identity are represented in her work. Therefore, gardening and painting have become an intrinsic process of self-identification and reassessing her position in nature.

Alongside the continuous interplay between her studio and her home garden, Moons’ created a labyrinth garden by an old monastery Hoogcruts (Noorbeek), following the principles of permaculture. Flowers, herbs, and vegetables describe the bending and circling path to the middle. Walking this path is a moment of contemplation, meditation, and intention. Moving through the labyrinth is a metaphor for the path of life: every step you take and every bend you follow, will eventually lead you to the middle.