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“I find it very hard to relate to people who constantly want something new.” Marsja van de Ven has difficulty understanding greed. “I have a fondness for things that already exist.” That’s why she still cooks with her late grandmother’s ladles. “Then I think of her every time.” And that is why for Bosch Parade she is making Hebzucht, a life-size dragonfly made of electronic waste – as a colourful critique of overconsumption.

It was her first impulse when she read about Bosch Parade’s Open Call. Marsja: “I wanted to do something with greed. Because it is a capital sin. Because I find it worrying that many people continue to carelessly buy stuff and think it’s normal. And because I think everything should be used as often and as well as possible.”

For her artworks, Marsja therefore almost always works with waste materials. Marsja: “Not only because it is cheaper and less harmful to the environment, but also because I like it when things already have a story.” What’s more, that waste often forms the starting point of her designs. Marsja: “I always look for usable material first. So what an object will look like depends on what I find. That’s also why I usually don’t provide a ready-made sketch when I participate in something, but an impression. After all, I can always come across something that fits my idea perfectly.”

On her quest, she discovered a scrap metal shop in Leeuwarden with e-waste, electronic waste. Marsja: “For me that is like a candy store, with fantastically beautiful material. When I first got there, they were still a bit distant and unhelpful, but now they enjoy contributing ideas and there is even a picture of one of my projects hanging there.” 

For her Hebzucht, Marsja was inspired by dragonflies. “That was because I discovered that dragonfly larvae propel themselves by sucking up water and blowing it out the back. They don’t do anything else with it, it’s purely to move forward. I found that so fascinating. And a very apt depiction of thoughtlessly leaving everything behind and not thinking about the consequences. Besides, I think dragonflies are very beautiful.”

Marsja wanted to use a pedal boat to float Hebzucht. Marsja: “But I couldn’t find a good used one. So I built one myself, using two worn-out surfboards. A month and a half ago, I did a float test with those and a pile of paving stones, and that went well. Meanwhile, I have almost finished the dragonfly, for which I used old computer cases, among other things. So Hebzucht contains virtually nothing new, it is made up entirely of things that already exist.”