Thanks to the Young Talent Grant I received from the Mondriaan Fund in 2016/2017, I´ve had the opportunity to experiment with new materials in the last year. I have fallen in love with clay. I started a basic pottery class in March 2017 where I learnt throwing on the wheel and some glazing and firing skills. I now continue to experiment with different sculptural forms. Ceramics is a field with vast opportunities to learn skills and techniques; it really gives me a kick. It is also a humbling process, where I am a total beginner and still struggle with some technical parts of the process.
It feels very good to reactivate my 3d brain as I call it; thinking in three-dimensional space is something I love to do, and yet haven’t done so intensively since attending art school. Working with ceramics, I concentrate on form, proportions, empty space, colour and surface. Clay is earth, and I can feel this when I work with it. The material itself is part of the natural world, and I can relate to it very well. The process of firing to make the material durable is absolutely fascinating to me.
With special thanks to the Mondriaan Fund to grant me such an enriching year of experiment and play. The process continues and I will be sharing more about it soon.
Become a Bamboo
I Love this Zen story, told like this by Osho: There was once a great painter, he was already well known and was painting bamboos for years and years. But his master said: “No, if you want to really paint a bamboo you have to go and live with the bamboos in a bamboo grove. Right now you only paint the outside of the bamboo, but you have no idea about the inside. Go and become a bamboo.” The disciple went, and it took him three years. Then one day the wind was blowing through the bamboo grove and he started swaying, just like a bamboo. He realised he hadn´t been a man for a while. Now he could go back and paint a bamboo.
It took him three years. Incredible, when I realise I try to make paintings of nature all the time. As a child I grew up in a forest and I believe I had an immediate contact to the nature around me, but now? So many thoughts focused on making money and how to sell this and that, how to present myself to the outside. No time left to become a bamboo!
I suppose this is a reason why aboriginal paintings have such a strong appeal to me. They paint the land they live on: the grass, yam bushes, animals and their dreams. They live in it. There is not much of a separation between the painter and the painted. The paintings are pretty abstract but very vibrantly alive. By looking at them I can feel the stuff they depict, feel rather than see. For me this is the essence of abstract painting: to convey the feeling of something rather than the visual appearance.
Royal Award for Modern painting 2014, 11 October – 2 November in Amsterdam
Also this year I have been nominated for the Royal Award for painting! My work will be in the exhibition in the Royal Palace at the Dam square in Amsterdam.
On the 10th of October King Willem-Alexander presents the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2014 to four young talented artists. After the award-ceremony the King opens the exhibition of the winning works and a selection of other paintings submitted. The Royal Award is annually presented to encourage talented young painters active in the Netherlands.
11 October – 2 November
Tuesday – Sunday
11:00 – 17:00 hours