Reclaimed: Hyacinthe Ouattara & Marinda Vandenheede

10 March - 19 April 2023
Ronewa Art Projects is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition Reclaimed, featuring Hyacinthe Ouattara and Marinda Vandenheede, with an opening reception on March 9th from 6 till 9 pm. A fascination with found objects unites the two artists; both present works that repurpose materials from the textile industry. One questions textiles as a metaphor for humanity and collective identities, while the other finds intrigue and symbolic beauty in discarded items that have succumbed to the forces of nature and time.


Hyacinthe Ouattara’s sculptural practice is inspired by organic forms, consisting of twisted, knotted, and patchworked fabrics. Through textiles, he reflects on concepts of identity, connection, memory, and intimacy while questioning the ambivalence between appearance and disappearance, what is perceived and what is not. Ouattara, a self-taught Burkinabe artist, began working with textiles in 2010, creating works from clothing to confront how Africa is treated as a dumping ground for the West. Often suspended, his textile sculptures occupy a space of tension between balance and instability. 


For Reclaimed, Ouattara has created textile wall hangings constructed from hand-stitched tapestries, upholstery fabric, and thread. As fine furnishings, these objects are status symbols and cultural signifiers. They also represent the mass production and waste of the textile industry. Ouattara crudely sews the textile fragments together, creating webs of tangled thread and introducing chaos and individuality to what was previously governed by patterns and reproducibility.


For her third showcase with Ronewa Art Projects, Belgian artist Marinda Vandenheede continues her repurposing of cardboard punch cards employed in industrial loom weaving. She reforms the worn and yellowing cards into relief sculptures dictated by a minimalist logic of repetition and symmetry. Vandenheede’s practice is defined by her playful juxtapositions that nod to the inherent dualities found within humanity and nature. She is drawn to unassuming artifacts made from natural materials that contain signs of use and decay - evidence of our fragility against natural elements and the passing of time.


As an early application of binary code, cardboard punch cards ushered in an era of industrialization. Textile designs became endlessly reproducible, and the role of the artisan was passed to machine operators. By rearranging the cards and overlaying them with hand-painted ink, Vandenheede overrides the patterns beneath. Reclaimed also presents several of Vandenheede’s sculptural objects: curious assemblages of parts - some from an industrial weaving loom - that renders their original purpose defunct.   




Hyacinthe Ouattara, born in 1981 in Diébougou, Burkina Faso, received training in live model drawing, graffiti, and painting before embarking on a personal approach within the artist collective Les Autres Yeux and contributing to the creation and development of the Hangar 11 workshop in Ouagadougou. He has exhibited worldwide, including shows in Paris, Berlin, Dakar, Ouagadougou, Accra, Luxembourg, and Kalgoorlie, Australia, and participated in the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Marrakech, the AKAA Art Fair in Cape Town, the Dubai Art Fair, and the Cairo Biennale. Ouattara has held artist residencies in France, Morocco, and Germany.


Marinda Vandenheede was born in 1976 in Waregem, Belgium, where she also studied fine art and lives today. Her practice is influenced by the truism that, as humans, we are inseparable from nature, while her early training in graphic design is visible in her sense of composition. Her works have been exhibited and collected internationally, including in Belgium, France, Spain, the UK, Ukraine, and New Zealand.