New works for the exhibition in Antwerp.
'nepenthe/quells all sorrows with forgetfulness. 24 days.'
the word 'nepenthe' first appears in the fourth book of Homerus 'Odyssey'. It means 'that which chases away sorrow, grief or mourning.' It was a magical potion given to Helena by the Egyptian queen Polidamma.
many think that Nepenthe might have been an opium preparation, perhaps similar to laudanum. The effects are similar to those of opiates.
The work consists of a small table with on the upper part four small glass plates. On the plates you find 24 pills, filled with words. Together they form the lyrics from one of Elbows great songs 'The River'.
I walked with the river in kind of a dream
Hand in hand, the all-knowing river and me
To the glamour of rushes and deeply bowing trees
And drunk making blossom that blushed to be seen
I told him my sorrows and broken-down dreams
Confessed every lie, replayed every scene
He openly wept as he listened to me
And then, with the sun in the west, he showed me the sea
Next to the pills a glass of water and also the guidelines of how to take the pills... On the bottom shelve a small glass jar with blue stones - pure pigment! The 24th pill is also filled with that!
The second work is 'The golden L-pill'. A man is isolated in his glass jar, desperately seeking for relief... none is given. More photos of the works soon on the site.
Earlier this week, I had the possibility to visit the Museum of Morphology in Merelbeke near Ghent (Belgium). A nice small museum on faculty of veterinary Medicine. A beautiful collection of morphological museum specimen of animals, preserved and presented in a very respectful way. The main purpose of the museum is to give students the opportunity to study the morphology of animals. to go have a closer look inside the animal...( heart, vessels, bone structures, intestines...) or for comparative reasons. There are three types of specimen: skeletons, moulds and plastinates.
I was there for one of my artworks - a small series of animal embryo's I just started working on and for which I need as much three-dimensional material as possible... and a nice talk with a biologist/morphologist/art lover.
Some photographic impressions of the museum, and a thank you to the conservator!
Recently I went back to my old love: grasp a piece of stone, take time to discover it and then just take away bits and pieces... absolutely relaxing after all this figurative struggling, trying, shouting, starting all over again...
A very nice piece of blue alabaster is slowly turning into this strange piece of work - Slowly there is some balance crawling into this thing. Slowly turning blue, slowly sanding and starting all over again and sanding... With some nice music and no machinery for a change.
hematite found in the sahara desert, Marocco
Just tumbled into minerals... This iron-based mineral hematite' is beautiful: it can have the shape of a kidney, or a skull. The Greek word 'aims' means 'blood'. In Dutch we call this stone 'glaskophematiet.
Malachite is another , green and very common copper mineral, with a widely variable habit. Typically it is found as crystalline aggregates or crusts, banded in appearance. Until the 18th century, the malachite mineral wow used for its green color by painters...
For me it's all about the natural shape! Great stuff! Love it!
Being a member of 'Biomab - biological and medical art in Belgium', I attended a dissection drawing marathon in Antwerp. Hard and confronting to be there and see all those body parts in their beauty and horror. I could hardly make any drawings, took some photos but don't know what to do with them yet. On the photo the pelvis of a man.
I started working on my huge marble piece last week. You can see pictures on 'battle of the Remains III', recent work.
Difficult job to do, because of the size of the stone... but soo much fun!
The 18th of march, there will be an exhibition opening with some of my recent works in Berlare, Belgium (see under home- exhibitions) and another group exhibition in Ghent Zebrastraat, with an auction guided by mr Jan Hoet himself
Photos from the exhibition! Click on the text to see more!
I visited the Museum today, saw a really beautiful painting by someone I never heard of before.
Felice Casorati. Casorati (December 4, 1883 – March 1, 1963) spent his childhood in Novara, Italy and showed an early interest in music and art. The works he produced in the early years of his career are naturalistic in style, but after 1910 the influence of the symbolists and particularly of Gustav Klimt turned him toward a more visionary approach. In 1915 he had a solo exhibition at the Rome Secession III, where he showed several paintings and the first of his sculptures in varnished terracotta. The paintings for which he is most noted include figure compositions, portraits and still lifes, which are often distinguished by unusual perspective effects.
Casorati himself wrote, in 1931: "In taking up, against me, the old polemic of classicism and romanticism, people rail against intellectualized and scholastic order, accuse my art of being insincere, and wilfully academic—in a word, of being neoclassical. ... since my art is born, so to speak, from within, and never has its source in changing "impressions", it is quite natural that ... static forms, and not the fluid images of passion, should be reflected in my works"
This work made my day today! A real beauty!!
Very nice opening of the exhibition yesterday evening, with some really interesting opening speeches...
The old building gives the visitors an intimate view on the artworks there presented!
De kapel op de openingsavond, met Beeldend werk van oa Bryan Green, Pascale Pollier, Eleanor Crook, Caroline Hübner, Valentina Lari, David Malan, Chantal Pollier...
Een ongelooflijke avond ! De combinatie tussen beeldende kunst, poëzie, Performance en muziek werkte zo goed! Een kunstminnend publiek en een volle kerk! Wat wil een mens nog meer?
Enkele indrukken op een facebookpage: http://www.facebook.com/pages/-Letting-Go/183778698362738
last friday I visited a jeweller in Bruges, who has the skills to make his own moulds and does the pouring as well... he will make my three small hearts into silver. I am so curious about the result! The heart of a cocroach, a tick and a snail, in pure silver!!
Ik vond een mooie kleine glazen stolp - op de rommelmarkt zijn écht schatten te vinden! Enig onderzoek levert het volgende: teken zijn van de familie van de arthropoda: ze hebben een hart aan de rugzijde, een open circulatory met hemolymph dat kleurloos is. Mooie hartvorm, maar ongelooflijk vervelende beesten. Precies daarom mijn keuze.
Ik kreeg een prachtig gedicht onder ogen, dat ik met toestemming van de maker hier mag brengen.
Onuitgesproken in een klomp
Hebben vingers de aarde
We hebben het ongrijpbare
Steeds vaster binnenwaarts
Het valt te raden hoe
In gebaldheid huilen schuilt
Alsof het schoonheid is
André Ockerman, mei 2011
Working very hard on a commission piece. tiny little pieces of bone have to be connected, to become a nice threedimensional form... The patience it requires is incredible. I can do like 5cm2 per hour, calm and gently going on, even when I know there is a deadly deadline!
I'll be happy to return to my hearts; the squid heart is as good as finished, two insect hearts are coming up. There will be at least seven, maybe eight hearts involved in 'The heart of the Matter'.
Ik ontdekte net het prachtige werk van taxidermist/kunstenaar Polly Morgan. Fragiel en delicaat. http://pollymorgan.co.uk/
In her own words, "taking the animal out of context and turning it into a piece of appreciated ornament. I would say her works celebrate the life and death of those animals that she has chosen to work on."
De dieren zijn alle slachtoffers van het verkeer, of gestorven dieren van bevriende vogelliefhebbers...
I found this beautiful book last week in a second hand bookshop: 'Anatomie voor de kunstenaar', by Jeno Barcsay (1900, Katona - 1988, Budapest). Barcsay was a professor at the academy of Budapest. Very nice drawings - perfect for a figurative sculptor like me!! So last Sunday I spend all afternoon studying the muscles of the back. He made it all look very clear...
This is a very nice picture , showing how the muscles work underneath the skin. Perfect drawings for a sculptor working with the human body.
I'm still working on a huge sculpture 'battle of the Remains III', which I will make in white Covelano marble. The back is very important in this work, so pictures like this are like jewellery for me.
My daughter needed a recent article for school, and found a very interesting one: the mummified droppings of a Hyena were found in the North Sea, some 30000 to 40000years old. So we took out some books about prehistorical life: the world of dinosaurs suddenly appeared in my living room! And so my oldest son suggested to try and find the oldest heart...
I found it, I think. It belonges to a mummified dinosaur. There are only a few of them, and a fascinating world comes to life. One of those mummies, 'Willo', actually exposes his heart, which has four chambers and therefore scientists believe that dinosaurs were warm-blooded creatures, close to the birds..
The 7th heart will be the oldest one! Work to do now...
'Het werk vordert traag, maar gestaag. Het lichaam wordt steeds jonger, fragieler. Ik graaf diep, probeer me mijn eigen jonge lijf te herinneren, hoe alles veranderde... Het verandert nog steeds, alleen in een vreemde, ongewenste versnelling. A battle is going on in my studio with my stone, my memories and time.' (notities bij het maken van 'battle of the Remains II)
Dit graven in mijn herinneringen was er ook bij het werk: 'Marie'. Het is het tweede beeld in een reeks van drie koppen. De koppen rusten op arduinen sokkels, de restanten van oude graven die ik haalde op een kerkhof. 'Marie' is gemaakt naar de herinnering aan mijn grootmoeder op haar doodsbed. Ik was toen tien jaar oud en haar dood heeft grote indruk op me gemaakt.
Over het geheugen en het vergeten...
Morgen ga ik naar een lezing van Dauwe Draaisma, over zijn nieuwe werk: 'Het vergeetboek'.
Ik las reeds 'Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt'. Hieronder enkele uittreksels.
"We must forgive our memory for yet another reason. It finds it easier to determine what has changed than to tell what has stayed the same. The people we have around us every day change as quickly or slowly as everyone else, but thanks to our daily contacts with them their changes are played out on a scale that makes them seem to stand still. It is unfair to blame our memory for throwing away editions when, on the face of it, the latest imprint differs in no way from the preceding one.
Photography has altered our relationship to our memories of past appearances. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, the problem of trying to remember somebody and being unable to tell whether you recall his face or his photograph did not exist. This uncertainty follows on from the certainty a photograph profers, the knowledge that once, then, on that particular occasion, he had looked like that: that glance, that hairstyle, those features. These days we have something like a photographic biography of nearly everyone, from their birth to the present day or their death — a visual record that may not document every phase of life with equal intensity, but nevertheless comprises the entire life and records the changes that pass too slowly for our memory to notice."
Uit: 'Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt', Douwe Draaisma
Mijn dochter. Ze was misschien nét een jaar oud.
Work in progress, Thoughts, ideas with no particular shape, exhibition setups and photos of openings, nice visits to interesting colleagues and scientists...