heading for the purple planet / by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Working on the exhibition in the Chapel of Campo Santo in Gent (Sint-Amandsberg).

Campo Santo is an exhibition Chapel that is situated on a burial site just outside the centre of Ghent in Sint Amandsberg. `` heading for the purple planet`` is the title of the exhibition and it is about the female as a symbol of protection and continuation of life. It should become a group of womenlike figures who are on their way to another place where the continuation of life can be assured. The figures are built up out of building material, porcelain and ready made objects. 

The work is raw, fragile and 1000 other doubts. It started off as only sketches and that is what it stayed, sketches. Exhibiting sketches and be serious about them feels like going to a battlefield unarmed. But somehow this is how it should be. And after all life is nothing but a sketch, you only get to do it once and everything for the first time. This is what I tell myself and what I have to believe now....

For a Long time I had an instinctive allergy against exhibiting on this spot and up till now I sometimes think I will cancel last minute, but also I have this need fuelled by anger to fill the chapel with female energy against all this patriarchal stupidity that has caused so much destruction and pain in the name of ideologies. Also, the graveyard that the chapel is built on is a sort of `Père Lachaise of Ghent` where the `meritorious` Gentians are buried, most of them men of course. The exhibition will be dedicated to my grandmother who died in childbirth after giving birth to her first child, my father. She died because the church, in case of doubt to save the mother or the child, strongly advised the father to sacrifice the mother. She died for the continuation of life...she was buried on a graveyard close to Campo Santo, she did not belong to the meritocracy, she was just another woman who died in childbirth. There are no statues for all the women who died in childbirth but there is, in almost every city, a statue for the anonymous soldier who died in a war. what kind of world did we make??? It is time to head for that purple planet and start all over again.