please scroll down here for lecture Vice Versa Exchange -Friday, November 20 th. 11.00, F-Block
























Bristol  (Vice Versa Phase 2)

















Name: Moniek Westerman, born in 1960, Emmen, the Netherlands


Mixed practice:

In 1996 I started a private practice as a state registered Dietician.

In 2003 I finished the Art College (Minerva) in Groningen after studying 5 years as a mature student.


Since that time I have combined the two jobs - in various levels of intensity.

To make it work I've decided that:

1. My work as a dietician is often a source of inspiration for my work as an artist


2. I cannot do everything I would like to do (timewise)


3. Unfortunately, as an artist, I cannot always say everything (I will explain later)


4. I can, however, make what I like without worrying about it being 'sellable'.
















Matter and Morality

My fascination with 'materials' plays a vital role in my art and so does 'morality'.













This is a picture of the work in the current exhibition. It illustrates exactly what I want to say with MATTER and MORALITY.

The two houses are made of the total amount of fat that is recommended for both a male and a female per year.

90 grams and 70 grams a day respectively, that makes: 




If one eats that amount - one is perfectly OK and probably not overeating. Still many people find it confrontational / disturbing. It reminds us of overindulgence, bad health ....



The name: "Our earthly home" is derived from a biblical expression refering to our body. That's why the work is shaped as houses. Smooth as human bodies. Not only in the Bible, but in many other major religions we are taught to look after our health.














Sugar and Money

Following on from my work with fat, I would like to show you this picture.

Sugar and money

This combination has become symbolic for me. It stands for how food is distributed around the world and how economics play a major role in 

WHAT we eat and IF we eat. 


On the site you can read more about how this work came into being (my stories). 






'Moral issues' of this kind become an ever increasing part of my art.

The picture shown above is a piece from the Vice Versa presentation in Groningen and is called "Hunger".


It was a vital step for me to use this title.

I address a worldwide problem. Hunger in the world has increased in recent years. The amount of people going hungry roughly equals the amount of people that overeat (one billion each way).


This old chair - completely sagging, only in rags, I removed its foam interior - symbolises someone going without food. Maybe he/she was well off once ? Maybe not.


Underneath the chair is a carpet of sugar. Unspoilt. This is made of roughly the amount of sugar an average person in the Netherlands will consume in one year: 32 kg.


Food policies and political pressure keep consumption high in the rich world - not to benefit our health but the economy.




Artists should be able to say whatever they like - and hopefully make people aware of the world around them from a different perspective.

As I mentioned in my introduction: I cannot always speak my mind as freely as I would like!

My patients might be mortally offended if I suggested they should eat less and give whatever they save by doing so to the hungry. If anything I say should be picked up in the press in Holland and be misinterpreted, I would be in big trouble. I would lose my good name and my income.

I would never do this - as I work professionally. Many patients are physically ill or have psychological problems that sometimes cause them not to be in control. I treat them with respect and counsel them accordingly.

No dilemma - just an artistic idea based on statistics!



Hunger (FAT on my window)





No more hunger.....(on You Tube - with whipped cream and the help of my son)




More Morality - on a world scale(s)

All this thinking about what I wanted to say with my art resulted in a new art concept.




The aim is an idea of sharing 'globally'. Why not ?

World politics are incredibly complicated, but two things are clear:

(1) there are over 1 billion people in need of urgent (food) aid

(2) and an equal amount of people suffer bad health as a result of eating too much.

I simply propose that people who would like to look after themselves by reducing their intake of calories pledge some money to charities that are reliable and active in (acute) food-aid situations. This I call a moral incentive to slim.

Before long you will have two people, four, six...or many more, happier and healthier.

And even more important: share your ideas with me. 


More about my ideas : see the site (my story)




Installation: full size table/chairs covered in fat on sugar carpet

Afterparty for the blackbirds in the garden.

Hopefully the blackbirds of Bristol will enjoy my houses too!

My intention is to leave them in the grounds after the show.











Overdoing it: detail of 'the party is over'

Dutch for : "So what?" (reaction of art student to my 'Hunger' piece -2009)

So everything is relative !









...and I can certainly smile about it (detail of sugar carpet with added smiley)

Time for More Matter - Less morality !

I like to show more of my 'material' work.





For as long as I can remember I have had an interest in collecting 'things' (matter)

This interest is very wide. In principle I love all things that have something to tell, carry traces of a story or have a symbolic meaning. I believe in the dynamics of matter. Things change, disappear, stay unnoticed, are thrown away etc. I stare in amazement at the 'material' world (consumerism).


If I use material - often I add something to 'found' material.

Royal Game - on display in the show in Bristol, is an example of such an addition. Every single block had goldleaf on one side.








Loaded Matter

Various British artists have deepend my interest in matter.

Most of all Cornelia Parker. To me she is very serious artist/scientist.

She talks about 'loaded' matter.





Recently, with the celebration of the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I was reminded of her powerful example of what matter can mean. A quote from her:

"Imagine on how many mantlepieces all over the world a small piece of this matter can be found". This remark resulted in my wish, years ago, to make a map of the spread of the Berlin Wall matter worldwide. (With the google-map techniques of today I could possibly do it.)






Royal game (included in current show in BV Studio). Childrens blocks and gold leaf.





Royal game - in the BV Studio, Bristol, november 2009

Patterns (Dutch title 'Grondpatronen'): the work of 720 different 'artists'.















Aspects of 'matter' interest me in this work:

Time (doilies are old fashioned and turn up in second hand shops)

What made women make them - was it relaxing work or felt a woman's 'duty'?

All this doilies are made by different people - non of them intended to make a (part of) a work of art,


Local clay, old bricks recovered from the sea. Made in the original brickmaking moulds.






Bricks rounded by the sea. These bricks were once part of real houses. (Bricks and led houses -2003)

Brandschat (Remains of arson attack in Wales)






Glass House (Recovered old glass)


Art and artificial

I'm also hugely interested in WHY people make plastic plants. I made a series of works combining the real and the artificial plant/flowers.

This is a show in which I displayed 4 vases full of flowers - all 50% real and artificial.

Real and artificial lillies

Plastic pond weed. Yes indeed, they sell that in the Netherlands. I combined it with the real stuff.

Springfield (leaves from fake flowers - soil) Roden, 2004

Roses combined (real and not real)




I would love to meet you on GLOBALFATEXCHANGE.COM

(more stories and pictures!)



























Food / Art

  • 20110406204123000iOSjpg
  • 20140715173613788iOSjpg
  • Stofwisseling 2 20-09-201411JPG
  • 104607117199723347542234633011882820668070n1jpg
  • Ons aardse huis / Our earthly home
  • Ons aardse huis / Our earthly home

Material work from 2003

  • leeghoofd
  • op de kaart gezet
  • 20111103230016000iOSjpg
  • bescherming
  • door de mand
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  • Grondpatronen, 725 gehaakte kleedjes
  • detail Grondpatronen
  • detail Grondpatronen
  • Grondpatronen
  • Tijdens de opening
  • Detail

Material work from 2003

  • leeghoofd
  • op de kaart gezet
  • 20111103230016000iOSjpg
  • bescherming
  • door de mand
  • 20141002132817306iOSjpg