Sonja Hillen

“Gedachtenkwel” (Thoughttorture), 2012

Mixed media: knitting, embroidery, foam and stuffing
Dimensions: 40 x 50 x 100 cm

“Gedachtenkwel” (Thoughttorture) is a knitted brain, lying in a grey puddle.

The work is about thoughts, too much thoughts. So much thoughts that they are flowing out of the brain and forming a grey puddle around the brain.

“If you want more love, why don’t you say so”, 2013

Mixed media: artificial fur, embroidery, terry cloth, stuffing
Dimensions: 45 x 40 x 100 cm

“If you want more love, why don’t you say so” is a sculpture of a heart. It’s half a heart, the heart is broken. The heart has a kind of personality, like a small animal with arms and legs. It’s laying on the ground, heartbroken. The title is a sentence of a song by John Mayer. Which is very much true. It seems so easy to ask for more love, but for most of us it’s the hardest thing to do.

Sonja Hillen was born in 1964 in Gaanderen, the Netherlands.
She studied at the Nieuwe Akademie in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

After a career as a district nurse, she went to the art academy from 1999 to 2004
Sonja Hillen works and lives in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

„Around textile, knitting and embroidery, used here, hangs a sensitive, tactile even vulnerable atmosphere, often in relationship with the female. Everything together is mixed media, in which household materials, close to everyday life, play the leading part.
With all this work has both a tender if fragile appearance, made by the firm anchoring both in the ‘ temporal ‘ as the ‘ sober ‘ and ‘ tragic ‘ of existence, never faint or sentimental. On the contrary, this art has a special poignant resonance. „(text: Daan Van Speybroeck):

In both my two- and three-dimensional art, I work with the same materials.
Mostly I combine drawing and embroidery. Drawing and embroidery is a slow working process. Step by step. This works perfect for me. Because I can easily adjust my idea or the artwork I am working on. Working with textile, knitting and embroidery is something I grew up with. It was not a conscious choice to use this material. I am slowly grown to it.

In my „previous life“ I was nurse. I thought I had left my life as a nurse far behind me. But it gets clearer to me that this is not the truth. My interest in human, the body and organs and the way it functions, affects my work process. It’s not just the physical appearance of the human being, but also the way how we, people, deal with each other.

My work is about daily worries, things happening in my life and therefore also in other people’s lives. The project I am recently working on is called “To the heartland”.
It is about ‘the place where I want to be’. It starts with the origin. Then not necessarily chronologically, following a path along several side paths and places. Which can be literal, or only exist in my heart and my head.

Sonja Hillen