18 November till 23 December 2022

Sanne Kabalt: to lull and by[e]


Sanne Kabalt, 2022

Kunsthuis SYB welcomes Sanne Kabalt as a resident from November 18 to December 23. Her residency will conclude with a public presentation in late December 2022.

During her workperiod, Sanne focuses on lullabies, a type of song used throughout all times and cultures to lull babies and small children to sleep. The lullaby possesses many different and often ambivalent qualities; it is meant to soothe, but the lyrics can be obscure; it is spoken in intimate private settings, but is also part of a self-evident collective knowledge.

The lullaby holds a unique place in our historical heritage. The fact that the lullaby usually originates within the intimate relationship between mother and child, with no listeners, offers lullabies a sanctuary to express thoughts and concerns that may have no place in public life. For example, there are lullabies in which the woman confesses not to love the father or miss her lover. Or it is a place where she can be vulnerable and sing of her own fatigue or the reality of poverty.

In Kunsthuis SYB, Sanne wants to explore the historical, narrative and aural qualities of (regional and international) lullabies and intertwine them with her visual practice. It is highly personal research of a new mother, who brings her daughter with her as a source of inspiration and primary audience. By examining lullabies, Sanne takes a historical but also current look at what society’s expectations of a mother are to this day. In addition to extensive research on international lullabies, Sanne conducts personal interviews with Beetsterzwaag residents and researches the Tresoar archives to gain insight into Frisian lullabies.

During Sanne’s residency, Kunsthuis SYB is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5. Until December 4, the exhibition Carriers is also on view; an exhibition of the work of the 5 nominees of the Sybren Hellinga Art Prize 2022.

About the artist
Sanne Kabalt (Amsterdam, 1989) has a Bachelor of Photography from the Utrecht School of the Arts (2011) and obtained her MA degree from the Dutch Art Institute of ArtEZ (2018) in Arnhem.

In her work, Sanne uses a wide range of media. Photography is often at the core, accompanied by poetry, drawing, installation, projection, song or performance. The content of the project determines its form. Thematically, she is engaged in the realms of illness, death, madness and loss and human-non human relations. In a sensitive way, Sanne explores the implications of pain, the the relation between pain and the words we give to it, and deploys the camera to explore what it can do that one’s own perception cannot. Her work unfolds as a process in which she resists a static end result and the presentation takes on an open form that still has the potential to evolve, in which not all questions have already been answered.

Do you know any lullabies from the Friesland area, or instead, lullabies from other places? Especially lullabies that highlight the reality and shadow side of parenthood are interesting for Sanne’s research. Tips are most welcome at sannekabalt@gmail.com or stop by during the weekends.

This project is made possible by: