Graphite Knots – Gam Bodenhausen

Van Abbemuseum
From May until October 2018 Eindhoven based artist Gam Bodenhausen creates her installation Graphite Knots in the Eye (het Oog), a patio at the Van Abbemuseum. Over a period of five months, Bodenhausen will make a huge drawing on the monumental back wall of Het Oog, examining the basic material of the drawing: graphite. Inspired by encounters during her travels she explores the history and the future of the pencil.


Graphite consists entirely of carbon, one of the basic building materials of all life. The material was discovered five centuries ago, in Grey Knotts, situated in the English Lake District, which then led to one of the oldest graphite mines in the world. The origin of this most basic raw material for drawing is therefore found in one of the oldest nature reserves in Europe, which is also the home base for the English Romantic movement. In this movement observing and drawing became an intellectual adventure with its own rules and possibilities. Bodenhausen’s starting point is the idea that a drawing not only describes, but also generates new insights.

As a discoverer, Bodenhausen uses Het Oog as her research station. During the project she will make a trip to the “Grey Knotts” mountains in the Lake District, where she will visit an old pencil factory and the dark corridors of the graphite mines. For her installation in Het Oog, she will use film images, photographs and found objects from her research trip.

Gam Bodenhausen, an artist from Eindhoven, creates drawings and installations. In her work historical and geological elements from the landscape and nature play an important role.

Graphite Knots – Gam Bodenhausen

Video credits

  • Video en interview: Lidewij Meijer  - Jumping Jackdaw
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