That’s what people say here at the end of the day: ‘jag åker hem’ which means ‘I go home’.
paper litho, 2014
‘I wanted to become a writer but I had know idea what to write about’. The figure who is writing just moved to a new house in a new country and is surrounded by a landscape which he is not familiar with. He wants to become a writer and tell about his new impressions; the new people he has met. But where to start when it is all so overwhelming?
This drawing will be the start of a new series of prints. I finally know how to use all these new impressions I get every day by living in a new country. It is like as if the snow has clarified my thoughts.
We will wait for your return with flowers in my hand. 2013
I’m more of a story teller then a painter who is building an image with paint. That’s what I tried to do with my paper litho printing, the last couple of weeks. First I was enjoying that, it felt free, then I started to feel restless: where was my story? I just couldn’t see clear anymore. I could go on like this forever, but it wasn’t satisfying. Because the content of my story has always been more important rather than color, shape, composition.
So I came to the conclusion that I need some boundaries, that has always worked for me. Boundaries in time, technique, black/white etc. Now I’ll limit myself to one print per week. I always have very clear images in my head about the story I want to tell, but every time I go to the workshop I am tempted to use all the material that’s lying there and my original idea starts to fade away. So I’ll force myself to stick to the images in my head and try to make them visible in a series of prints.
At the moment I’m reading the books of Karl Ove Knausgård, a Norwegian writer who has written about his life in a series of six autobiographical novels; I’m almost done with the fourth book.
In the fourth novel he describes himself as a young man who wants to become a writer.
After his high school graduation he doesn’t go to university like his classmates, instead he has applied for a teaching job somewhere in a small village all the way up north. He wants to be independant and earn money to achieve his greater goal in life: to become a writer.
As he desribes the village in such detail it is almost as if you are there, looking at the mountains and the sea and experience the snow and the darkness.
For me, as a visual artist it is inspiring to read, I recognize a little bit in this writer who’s sitting at his desk looking outside to his new environment, starting a story. I also sit at my desk and try to work, looking out of my window at a new landscape; I’ve know idea what it will bring me.
So for me the person in this print is Karl Ove Knausgård: thinking about his first novel. Surrounded by a new landscape.
collagraph print 2013
About a year and a half ago Sabine and I built our own paper hut. Based on a ceremonial house ceiling from Papua New Guinea, we made our own ceremonial ceiling. It became a real paper hut in which you can lie down and look to the stories of the printed ceiling. It symbolizes rites of passage from an old life to a new one. So it’s about saying goodbye; preparing yourself for a new life.
For me our paper hut is a place where the people I always draw, could stay, They are between places: they undergo their rites of passage. Different ones: from childhood to adulthood, to travel from one country to another, from sleeping and dreaming to be fully awake. It’s about these transitions I draw.
I have traveled from one country to another, but I’m still in between, so I would like to built our hut again.
Before I moved to Stockholm and I had to put all my things in big cardboard boxes, I got a phone call from artist Elsbeth Cochius: if I wanted to make a paper dress for singer/performer Marijke Boon. Marijke Boon was asked to perform at the presentation of the graphics calendar 2014. This calendar was founded by artist Elsbeth Cochius five years ago. Because it was five years ago that the first calendar was presented, Elsbeth wanted to do something special: Marijke Boon performing in one of my paper dresses. I had only one week to make the dress, so in the middle of piled cardboard boxes, there was one spot left where I could work: the diner table.
I had never met Marijke Boon, so I did a little research and saw some pictures of her. Based on that little information I started to make the dress. I wanted to print it with a simple colorful pattern, not to complicated. But a dress ready to perform in.
So the dress shows a man who is just walking, I don’t know where he is going, and sometimes he looks up to the moon. That’s a very short story, I agree. But often a short story is the only thing an artist needs.
( Picture made by Karin van der Meul )