coming soon..

spring is about to bloom!

Visit the new exhibition at the blooming gallery starting from April 6, 2024. Polek and Allender are about to showcase their new co-creation. Besides the bold collaboration, the work is grand and daring. It celebrates light, hope, and life. It explores the relationships between humans and nature.

They bring with them the Young Talent Niki Sophia — a little person in a hasty, foggy world. Her colourful creations are an opening to a world where the sky is blue and time is abundant. She aims to provoke introspection and contemplation free from the hurry and pressure of the fast paced world we live in

spring to bloom


On Saturday, April 6th, we warmly welcome you to the opening of “Spring is About to Bloom!” at the blooming hotel.
Start time: 4:00 PM with a welcome drink Address: Duinweg 5, Bergen (NH)

download the invitation

Polak & Allender

In 2021, when Paul and Michèle began working together, they started off tentatively. Michèle’s photographs reminded Paul of studying geology which he loved. He nervously and cautiously started making marks on them. Michèle encouraged him to become more bold. Which he did.

Paul and Michèle had really liked each other’s work on Instagram for a long time. She invited him to paint on to her images and he enthusiastically agreed.

The cautious British man and the more liberated Dutch woman began experimenting. Over time, it has become easier and more organic and has developed into a symbiotic relationship in which each are inspired by the thoughts and actions of the other. It is a partnership which has a rhythm and a movement.

They are now about to exhibit their new joint work in the blooming Hotel in Bergen. It is large, bold, unapologetic and celebrates life: nature and human life are treated as the same because they are.

They are freeing themselves up to express what they really feel and know. Humans are part of the natural world just as much as any other part of it. The problems that humanity is now confronting are the result of ignoring this oneness with nature. We need to return to it.

The work explores many aspects of this relationship between the natural world and humanity. It engages with both our fraught and difficult tensions with it and the embrace of the whole. And everything in between.

Nature is not here for us to admire, observe or control. We make it as it makes us. It is a symbiotic relationship although many societal and political leaders would deny it. For them, we are the masters of nature. It is this thinking that is leading us to the brink of disaster. But there is still time and hope.

The exhibition at blooming is celebrating the now. While we know, as humans, we have lots of things to face and change, we also know that this needs to be done in a natural partnership with the environment. Working together with the natural world and not trying to control it.

So, their work celebrates, asks some questions, engages and moves with a natural rhythm and an appreciation of the beautiful.

A definition of a symbiotic relationship is: “a mutually beneficial interaction in which both symbionts contribute to each other’s support.” While this cannot be without problems, conflicts, fractures and setbacks, it is the only way that we can progress as humans if we want to survive.

The joint artwork of Michèle and Paul reflects these ideas and others in many and diverse ways.

Polak and Allender have exhibited in both Paris and Amsterdam on a number of occasions. Both are artist members of Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam.

young talent
young talent

Niki Sophia (1998)

i’m niki sophia (1998), a little multi-media artist in a big world. I make soft and fluffy tapestries as well as huge and tiny figures. Sometimes also origami, and I love experimenting so I regularly explore new materials and techniques. My works are usually very colourful, but they can have a dour existential undertone.

The making of my works require patience and time, making for me has always been a way to escape from the fast paced and restless world we live in. I think time is the most valuable
thing that exists, I want to give my time. I believe that is so beautiful, it’s a beautiful gift. The shapes, figures and colours I use work together as an opening to a different world.
Someplace where time is abundant. Someplace where we don’t have to run.

I want to be flying high in the soft blue sky,
I want to be swimming in a gentle stream of water,
I want to be anywhere but in this hasty foggy world just for a little moment.

with my feet in the sky
with my feet in the water
not with my feet on the ground

Do you fear to be misunderstood? When I was little, I felt so much but I couldn’t put it into words. We do not expect a child to be able to do that, we give a child time. There was also
more space for the unknown, more space to dream and to wonder around. There was a blind kind of trust in what life will be.

Growing up in a ‘run, run, run’ type of world, I lost it. And now, I miss it.

While I’m trying to reclaim what I lost, I’m confronted with the fact that I do have the words but it is not enough. Constantly yearning for more, bigger and better. It’s so restless. Living in a restless world made me restless. That is scary. I’m scared that my words are not enough to embody what I feel. As a maker, I’m searching for ways to say what I can not put into words. I hope I’m not alone — maybe if we find a way to understand together we’ll be allright?

A good friend of mine once quoted from Grace Lee Hobbs;

“transform yourself to transform the world.”

The view we have, is hardly objective. The way we look at something can often give us a
clue on what is happening inside. I believe we often see what we feel.
Through my work I aim to provoke introspection and contemplation free from the hurry and
pressure of this fast paced world.
Let’s hold hands <3 I’d like to find a way to be happy and wholesome all of us together <333

Spring is About to bloom

Michele Polak 4
Paul Allander 3
Paul Allander 2
Niki Sophia
Niki Sophia 3
Niki Sophia 2
Michele Polak 3
Michele Polak 2
Michele Polak
Paul Allander