The Art of Juliëtte van Bavel, Synaptiq+ Journal for Social Era Knowledge|  Link to the complete Journal by Meg Tufano


The Artistic Life of Juliëtte van Bavel
by Drs. Eva Mennes
(Spring 2013)


Juliëtte van Bavel began her career at the Conservatory as a classic dancer. Knowing that a ballet career is

not a career for life, she simultaneously studied plastic design at the Art Academy in Den Bosch. After concluding a successful dance career, Juliëtte van Bavel took time to fully focus on the many possibilities for artistic expression. She is a multi-talent who writes, photographs, paints and sculpts.

She has always had the desire to write, and even writes about her own artistic impressions. She also studies photography and painting at the Academy but she loves sculpture the best. She does not avoid the challenge of working in stone: even though she started with ‘soft’ soapstone and alabaster, she now works in marble in full scale.When viewing figurative work of male artists, Juliëtte found it remarkable that they were so often inspired by the beauty of the female body. The “Woman as Muse” archetype is not uncommon in the most diverse ways in art history. We find very famous Muse’s such as Marie-Louise O’Murphy for the French painter, Francois Boucher, at the court of Louis XV in Versailles, France. The successful sculptor Camille Claudel was the Muse for Rodin, arelationship which ended in disaster for her because of Rodin’s own success (and in his interest in another woman). In the paintings of Chagall we often see his own wife as Muse, an angel flying in the sky in his paintings. Picasso had several Muses throughout his long life.

The famous artist Louise Bourgois (who sadly deceased two years ago), was also inspired to great art by the female body. We see her interpretation of woman in the first ‘mother’ art which she knitted as a small, but powerful, statuette. In her images and sculptures she let the woman be seen as a mother, but brought in the extraordinary notion of mother as an all protective spider. She made many different versions of this spider, exhibited in the Municipal Museum in The Hague, The Netherlands. (There is a larger version shown at the Tate Modern in 2000 and is now in a place of honor at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.)

Which brings us back to the work of Juliëtte van Bavel: she, too, is inspired by women in her sculptures. However, perhaps through her artistic experiences through her dance career or maybe her love for the art of ancient Greece with its oracles and Pythiae; or maybe an Egyptian influence of the goddesses as Maat and Isis. However she was influenced, it is goddesses, angels and pure female figures that inspire her. Interesting to this issue of The Journal for Social Era Knowledge (see Part One of Meg Tufano’s Critical History of the University), it was in reading of Plato’s Symposium that she got the idea of ​​twin souls.

Sometimes her creative ideas are impossible to express in words and Juliëtte tries to express them in non-figurative paintings. She creates something new and brings progress to the new era of art we are entering now. In her new series SPILLED MILK she starts first with a traditional painting that only when it is finished is covered by the white action part of the paintings. The dynamics of the paintings in the background are stressed in the white, flowing lines.

One would be mistaken to think of her art as similar to the work of Jackson Pollok or Sam Francis. Hers has a flow that requires an oil painting first, then an overlay with another material to get the effect of action.



From the series, ‘Spilled Milk’ Oilpaintings on canvas


From the series, ‘Flames in Stone’, soapstone on alabaster

 ‘Anime Gemelle’, marble 420 kilo’s 

‘Amor Fugit’, marble 170 kilo’s




Author Bio:

Drs. Eva Mennes is an expert in Social Era art and sculpture. She has attended the Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands, and has her Drs. in Art History (MA) and her BA in Archeology. She also attended Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Neuchâtel, Suisse Sorbonne, Français, Histoire du XXième Siècleis.

Currently she sponsors organizations of exhibitions and promotions for artists.

As a public relations manager with an artistic background, she brings together people in the Netherlands who have special artistic talents in the visual and / or musical domain. After her studies at the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, as well as studying art history and archeology at Leiden University, she worked as a stylist and designer herself. Her passion is to help artists develop themselves.