Gabrielle Kroese

Visual artist

Horror Vacui – the making of



In 2011 I was nominated for the Gerrit van Houten Prize. I made a short stopmotion movie of the making of, which I think is nice to share with you. Especially because Horror Vacui is now part of the exhibition Monden + Tanden (Mouth + Theeth) @ Kunstingang


Gerrit van Houten was a talented Dutch painter who lived from 1866-1934 in Groningen. To honor the painter and keep his work alive the Gerrit van Houten foundation comments every five years the Gerrit van Houten Prize.


More then 60 professional artists submitted work in 2011. The work had to be new and inspired by the life and/or work of Gerrit van Houten. An important criterion was that the work had to be an observation of the visible reality. My painting Horror Vacui was one of the six nominated. (For those who wonder: I haven’t won the prize, Thijs Jansen did.)


I started with our mutual fascination for trees and forests. Although the world of Gerrit van Houten was much darker and more threatening then I was used to. (He suffered from a mental illness that put an early end to the development of his promising talent.)


To reinforce the story I added a modern Little Red Hiding Hood. Little Red Riding Hood frequently stands symbol for a passage rite of child to adulthood and she was also used to warn little girls for lurking seductions. For me fear and security was, and unfortunately still is, a very current topic.


“Little girls, this seems to say, never stop upon your way. Never trust a stranger-friend: no one knows how it will end. As you’re pretty, so be wise: wolves may lurk in every guise.”