ABOUT MNEMOSYNE (by Suzanna de Sitter)


Mnemosyne, a modern day fresco by Linda Overzee (1965)

Some years ago we encountered the fascinating oeuvre of Linda Overzee and soon after visited her studio in The Hague. At the time there weren’t yet any concrete plans for the new Triodos building on De Reehorst. As a first careful acquaintance with Overzee’s intriguing way of painting ‘Sirius’, a canvas in fresco technique was acquired for the Triodos collection, now hanging in Nieuweroord. This laborious way of painting is age old and was applied straight on the wall surface through the millennia from ancient times on several continents and in different cultures.

SIRIUS, 120 x 90 cm., fresco on linen, © Linda Overzee 2016

Linda Overzee’s frescoes though are portable and made for the modern age. Painted on organically shaped canvases that have been installed on separate especially made panels, several mineral treasures from the earth are used in the building up of the intriguing layers, like ochre, Prussian blue, ultramarine and cobalt and the plant based indigo. Overzee uses old techniques and materials as pure mineral pigments, she works many hours applying layer over layer based in lime, with intermittent extensive burnishing and scouring, even partly taking away just added layers of colour. Also inducing deliberate ‘craquel√©’, oxidation and erosion, Linda allows underlaying sections to emerge and blend with the upper layers to achieve the desired image. In her own words she offers us a metaphor for “how human beings are shaped by circumstances along the way, as layer upon layer constitutes our lives. Embracing coincidence, imperfection and irregularity."

MNEMOSYNE, fresco on linen mounted on panels, © Linda Overzee 2019

Titled ‘Mnemosyne’ after the mother of all the muses, the work of art stands symbol for the memory and our consciousness, the awareness, the invisible layers of our inner self. Mnemosyne also refers to the process of transformation and becoming aware, essential to any responsible task and and preferably experienced prior to any act. The frescoes so close to the windows and the glass entrance of De Reehorst embody both a chance to enjoy a flowing connection with the surrounding pervasive nature as, due to its impressionistic and intriguing image, an invitation for inward travel and reflection on the myriad layers of our human existence and our contribution to the planet. An overview from the hall on the complete work Mnemosyne as well as a possible closeup while in one of the meeting rooms will let us reminisce, will challenge us and will remain suspended in our memory for a long time.

Suzanna de Sitter, Independent Art Adviser, January 13, 2020

About all commissioned work at Triodos De Reehorst