material alchemy

a recap of the artist talk with Hilde Onis (nov 8 '23)

by our reporter: Violeta Gamino Romero

16 november 2023


on the evening of the 8th of November, the voids and fillings of Hilde Onis occupied the spaces of

het resort, both mentally and physically

through a conversation with Klaudija Ylaite,

our guide through the exchange of ideas in this new series


studium resort.


Hilde Onis shapes spaces, sometimes filling gaps and other times embracing them with her works. her  practice almost resembles the craft of ceramics, as she feels a special ability to create it, she turns her liquid ideas into stone, oscillating between the in-between spaces.


when sharing her work with us, she did it like entering a house:

through the idea that doors imply. for Hilde, they are like


embodying the idea with ceramic ears placed near the entrances of the exhibitions of her ideas.


her work is full of incarnation:

“the house is ours, but at the same time we belong to it,”

Klaudija suggests when listening to her.


a door is both a beginning and an end.


with a series of 30 unique sculptures (“Orchestrating Coincidence”),

in collaboration with Liza Wolters,

she learned to break ceramics, as if fragmenting them became an artful disruption, bridging past lives as mugs to new identities.


“when it cracked, it ended up cracking in the right way”

- as if destroying these objects and making them imperfect

were transforming them into a harmonious and controlled chaos.



this makes us reflect on the relationships between humans and the materiality of objects:

the power of the wind in their formation,

the meaning of erosion,



and the ideas of the failure of objects in gaining this new life.



these ideas of materiality are also found in her

alphabet of 26 sculptures wrapping trees in Amstelveen (2021).

again creating stone pendants for trees, she wraps them in the interaction with her sculptures.



another material that Hilde experiments with is


creating enveloping and ethereal shapes resembling sleeping animals,

or also crafting door stoppers:

the typical object as essential in our lives as toothbrushes, but the ones we tend to overlook.


encapsulating stories of families that are present only in ideas,

she shares and elevates an object considered - generally - of little value, turning it


a work of art.



again, playing in and with interspaces,

she interrupts them with precious objects,

 even making objects themselves paradoxical:

as fragile as they are strong.



among other playful works such as the reclined door she creates for the exhibition of


“Will hallways be here” (2023) in Brussels,


with which she shares her play on words such as




her work with anti-theft tags also caught our attention.


how is it possible for a fast and low-value material like plastic to coexist inseparably with marble, so precious and durable, for a task as relevant as

preventing theft?



Hilde Onis’ exploration becomes a captivating journey through the tangible and conceptual. her multidimensional style, from stone-wrapped trees to glass installations, provokes us to embrace the paradoxes of fragility and strength (tangibly and intangibly) within the material world.





Violeta Gamino Romero (2000, Spain) is currently studying Curatorial Studies (University of Groningen, Art History)


Hilde Onis (1994) lives and works in Rotterdam. Her work is expressed in amalgams of sculpture, installations, video work and textual interventions. It is created in an intensive studio practice where, research, sculpting and writing exist simultaneously. The work explores issues of interdependence, how precarious things are and how objects and meanings can lean on each other.  The installations are often tailored to the exhibition space. They search for a form in which a visitor can approach all the information presented as a reading of the space and grammar of the body to the world of objects and underlying meanings they contain. Conversely, Hilde uses written text in exhibitions. These texts give the opportunity to be read as stand-alone poems, but also as enigmatic references to what can be seen physically. Next to the usage of text in installations, Hilde writes independent poetry and prose.

Hilde Onis graduated from a BA of Fine Art in Sculpture at ArtEZ University of the arts, and a MA in Installation Art at KASK Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Gent, Belgium. Hilde is currently enrolled in a writing program at Schrijversvakschool Amsterdam. For a full overview and documentation of work and exhibitions, visit

HET RESORT IS supported by:

Mondriaan Fund, Gemeente Groningen