Sea heroes and romance 26 May - 6 July Gallery Posthuys, Texel
I would like to invite you to my upcoming exhibition. Between 30 and 40 works will be exposed on the wall of this beautiful Gallery Posthuys. It would be great if you have the opportunity to see them these coming two months.
On May 26th I will be there and probably the 27th too. Besides the Dutch island Texel is worth paying a visit too. The text below describes my motivation behind the works.
Dunes and the sea, forest and the Pontweg, surfers and waves, seals and their center, beachcombers, walkers and a cup of coffee. Peter de Boer (Den Helder, 1979) feels strongly connected to Texel and surroundings.
His previous exhibition at Galerie Posthuys was a family chronicle that reminded his grandfather who helped out as a diver after the war to clear mines around Texel. This time he shows the romance of the contemporary dune landscape and seascape. In combination with naval heroes of this time, this provides an interesting view of our perception of the sea and beach.
Intense nature experiences such as described and painted in Romanticism are a source of inspiration and starting point for de Boer. On a surfboard in the North Sea, surrounded by nothing but sea and swell, with a view of the horizon or towards the beach and dunes. In it he finds an image of the infinite, the passive contemplation of the eternal, during a temporary moment. The horizon is a foothold but at the same time is a natural limit that indicates infinity. When the sun disappears behind it, a sense of time and transience arises. Perhaps that is why we often let ourselves be tempted into melancholy when we set our sights on the horizon.
De Boer often shows a path leading to the sea in his seascapes and dune landscapes. The sea as a destination or goal is a metaphor for freedom. Sometimes there are people in the landscapes or seascapes. Surfers, beachcombers and naval heroes; it is those who are attracted to the sea. The paintings of the North Sea are an aesthetic rendition of freedom and infinity, but at the same time show a sublime threat that frightens us as it transforms from rippling to a savage lure.
The island of Texel is surrounded by water and views. Contemporary romance of the landscape has a different meaning than in the 18th century. When, in those days, travelers pulled blindfolded through the Alps in order not to see the cruel nature, in nature as we know it the traces of human presence are almost always visible in the landscape. This human presence deems Boer as both reassuring and disturbing. Reassuring because it indicates that the area is not completely inhospitable, a certain safety is experienced, if one is 'among the people', one is not alone. Unification with nature does not seem to be reserved for man. Although nature can evoke aesthetic pleasures, at the same time it turns out to be inhospitable. But in this case, with signs of human presence, the landscape seems tamed and under control. Disturbing, on the other hand, because the same humanity peoples, depletes, pollutes and even destroys the natural beauty with ever increasing speed. The balance turns out to go completely the wrong way and environmental organizations worldwide raise alarms. Do we still know how to turn the tide in time, do we still gain insight and do we go into action before it is too late? Plastic warnings, small painted evidence of found plastic on the beaches are evidence of where we are heading now.
In addition to sea, beach and diving scenes, there are portraits of sailors, including the Hero Dorus Rijkers, but also a contemporary hero like Bojan Slat. At the time Dorus Rijkers saved sailors with his rowing boat, the world did not have to deal with the plastic problem that we are becoming increasingly aware of. Where he saved people from the destructive power of nature, it is in our time the destructive power of man who brings nature into great danger. Motivations from market forces, profit and power are responsible for ensuring that those responsible look away. A sea hero like Bojan Slat takes action to preserve what we love, and with that he slowly but surely manifests himself as a savior of the seas.