foto’s Jacqueline Fuijkshot
Gongshi, also spirit stones or scholar’s stone, is an object which scholars or petrophiles, otherwise called lovers of stones, meditate on. Gongshi are valued for their appearance. Their aesthetics is based on subtleties of colour, shape, markings, surface, and sound.
The very concept of Gongshi, translates into Petra’s sculptural works, alternative embodiments of the scholar’s stone, where four different aesthetic qualities are identified: upright stature, openness, perforations and folding.
Petra’s work implicitly questions our perceived individuality and independence. Her sculptures in Gongshi poses questions such as, “How are we being shaped and formed? Do we really consider ourselves on our own without connections in the world?” Petra believes our times asks a different approach; it is no longer a time for fixed and radical views. In her work, she calls for space for flexibility and mobility, open-mindedness, and seeks to look and observe, creating work that encourages a sense of introspection and the softness of dialogue.