Review Kenneth Robbins, novelist & playwright (Louisiana, USA):
From a misty past and a fog-riddled present, Ien Dobbelaar with her exquisite style of layer upon layer evokes thought and feeling that transcends boundaries and invites the eye, the head, and the heart to linger. Her work lowers the intellectual and emotional bars of comfort
without the viewer's being aware. Her artistry while rare if not unique is indeed in touch with the deepest essences of the human psyche.
What a joy it is to encounter her work.
Review Amy Cordaro (Louisiana, USA):
Were these two woman noticed and appreciated? If one was to briefly glance at the painting, one would hardly notice the lightly painted camisoles. They are blended into the background of white. One must look closely to recognize that there is even something there. Ien Dobbelaar’s collection of these paintings is simply called Boundaries.
Each one of these undergarments represents a woman that is bound by something. Something or some past experience has bound them from something, but until now those boundaries were covered up, hidden from the world by clothes. The clothes provided a much needed escape from the peering eyes of the world. Now that the clothes are gone, the inner woman, along with her insecurities is exposed for all to see. The camisoles almost appear shy. These women’s shyness and insecurities caused them to blend in to the rest of the world, forever unnoticed. These women might have gone their whole lives only knowing each other. Clothes may have aided in blending them into society. There were probably so many things that women would have liked to say. It is almost tragic the way this painting immortalizes women. Their lives will forever be exposed for the eyes of the world to see. It is almost a window into the souls of these women who left the world unfulfilled in some way. This illustration serves to its audience a reminder not to hold back, do not let our insecurities and doubt keep us from going unnoticed.
What is written in the margins of this page?
Let your eye wander there.
What is there to see?
No letters, no words, no text, no meaning.
A margin is a margin: a space containing space.
But paintings, unlike pages, contain different kinds of margins: spaces which do not appear to be crucial, spaces which seem emptied out, barren of all meaning, but which, upon close scrutiny, after slow examination, flower suddenly with feeling, blossom over with meaning …
Like the shell of an egg that contains more broken than it ever did whole.
That contains a whole world.
Let your eye wander the interior margins of Ien Dobbelaar’s new series of camisole paintings and you will discover more “letters,” more “words,” more “text,” more “meaning” than any “page” could contain.
In these margins you will find not a space containing space but a space in which the usual rules of shape and color suggest something different: a world of suggestion.
Like how a scar suggests unblemished skin.
Like how a crucifix suggests a sacrifice.
Like how a camisole suggests a woman’s body, and the body in that body that is something else entirely.
Like a broken egg suggests a wholeness more perfect than the wholeness it was.
That suggests a whole world.
We see in the margins.
We live in the margins.
The world is a page to be read in the margins.
Dobbelaar takes us there.
And suggests a whole world.