In her work Barbara Broekman goes for a direct confrontation wih the senses. The large formats, deep colours, the suggestion of movement and touchability of the materials evoke a sensual experience. Stimulate, seduce, challenge people to look: that is what Barbara Broekman’s work aims at. Her work is included in the collection of the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, the Tilburg Textile Museum and various corporate collections. Furthermore, she created work commissioned by various ministries, municipalities, companies and private persons.
Since 1982, Barbara Broekman has been creating an oeuvre all on her own. She attended the Amsterdam Rietveld Academy, where she specialized in textiles, and the Master of Arts programme at the California College of the Arts in Berkeley, USA. Her monumental works are executed in various (everyday) materials. In the execution of the works Broekman often collaborates with firms in Spain, India, China and Poland that have specialized in traditional techniques. Besides researching formal principles and technical possibilities in her work, Broekman also addresses subjects we are confronted with in our everyday existence, such as love, death, birth, loss and the relations between the sexes. She mirrors her personal experiences and interests on universal emotions and themes.
This is also expressed in her working method: images from her personal archives are interlaced with existing pictures from the higher arts, science and mass culture. Complex (textile) patterns often underlie the arrangement of the sampled materials. The final image is not immediately readable. The viewer has an active role in the viewing process. This way, images are created that can be experienced at various levels. They appeal both to gut feelings and spiritual awareness. Both her subjects and her use of materials reveal a fascination with the creative powers of man. A manual and craftsmanlike execution is essential to her work. The time and labour required are palpable in the work and lend it an organic and weathered character. The slowness in the realization of the work is also a stand against instant satisfaction and consumption in our times.