Artist-in-residence Seet van Hout explores the intersections between art and science and creates a space where the two disciplines can communicate and learn from each other.

Seet’s stay at the Donders has come to an end. Read up about her experience in this article by Berlin-based gallery WHITECONCEPTS.

It’s a very personal experience that sparked visual artist Seet van Hout’s interest in the human brain and especially memory: After having worked with oil-based paints and solvents for years, she found she was having troubles remembering. She switched to water-based paints, but her fascination in our ability to form and recall memories (and the lack thereof) stuck. She started to approach the phenomenon of memory from her artistic point of view.

Seet’s oeuvre entails a broad spectrum of paintings, sketches and plastic works using different materials such as clay and embroidered textile, many of which deal with her favorite theme, memory. Brains, seemingly taken straight from old anatomical drawings, are a central theme in many of her works.


For a period of roughly two months, Seet is based at the Donders Institute, where she is working on different projects and exhibitions in her temporary atelier. Her stay at the Donders Institute as artist-in-residence was inspired by former artists and philosophers who used to live  on English royals’ country estate where they exchanged ideas with the owners and found a space to exhibit some of their art, Olga Kersten, head of art initiative Afdeling Kunst who established contact between Seet and the Donders Institute, tells us. Both artist and royal profited from this interaction.

Seet’s stay at the Donders is a modern take on this century-old idea. In a talk Seet gave for the Donders researchers, she tells us she has already been inspired by the scientific environment of the Donders and, especially, by the many people who have come by her atelier to talk about science and art. She tells us about her sewing-machine, aptly named “Memory Craft”, which she uses to materialize her conception of our mental world in form of embroidered blankets, canvasses and even book covers. In the course of her stay, Seet will exhibit many of those works throughout the Donders Institute.

Seet’s work at the Donders

Click on the images for more information.

We will keep updating this article to share impressions from Seet’s work at the Donders Institute.