Jungle in Modern Times
A big mural on canvas, 2 x 10 m about deforestation at Art Society De Kring
The first time we visited my wifes granddad in a small village on Borneo something weird happened. On our way driving through the Eastern Malaysian landscape I suddenly was in the middle of my own paintings. Jungle all around me with here and there a small cabin. This is what I was painting already for years!
Why did I paint these landscapes? I see beauty in them. In all the shades of green, the organic forms of the plants and the organized chaos. I’m also worried in what kind of world my son lives when he will be an adult. I am worried about the fast destruction of these landscapes and all other nature related, having nobody to blame but ourselfs. I know there is a longing for nature, it has been there for a long time. Romantic thoughts of the small human being overwhelmed by the greatness of his natural environment. But I’m worried about the influence of this same small human beings. Will my son live in a world where the polar bears I paint are no longer there?
I paint utopic naturescenes often with a small cabin or treehouse which transforms these most of the time rough landscapes to cultivated places. I do like the contrast that comes into existence when I place a manmade structure in it. I paint landscapes that are now still here, landscapes that will most likely dissapear fast in our future to come. Landscapes that I want to keep save by putting them in my painting. My works are nostalgic, a run or hide away, a memory, a scream. My work expresses the longing for a return to simplicity and nature which I, and maybe you too, behold more and more in our troubled world. The same time these hide aways question if it is possible that mankind and nature live in harmony. Most of us wouldn’t survive nature if we were to far separated from our save cultivated landscape. This danger and beauty of nature attracts me. My travels to Borneo inspired me even more in what I’m painting. ‘No need la, to go into the jungle’, a local told me. That place is not for recreation.
I paint figurative and created several synonyms for protection that recurs in my work even today.In my work you see tents, huts, caravans and treehouses; these places can be associated with protection, survival and safety, but at the same time carry a sense of childhood adventure, curiosity and exploration.
For Prix de Rome 2017 I got long listed so I wrote a work plan. I would have liked to use the opportunity and platform to share my research and concerns with the world by using that medium that, for me, talks so much stronger than words. I will paint a strong series of big monumental works that confronts and interacts with todays vision about environment in our society. A series that may look pretty at first sight, but that could be nasty if you look twice. Categorizing the world in 7 continents, I will make a big piece of every continent showing their beauty as well as their biggest ecological threats. Besides endangered animals I will have eye for the causes like; pollution, deforestation, habitat fragmentation that affects biodiversity, overfishing, overhunting, and so on. Jungle in Modern Times at De Kring was a try out of the first one; deforestation in South America.
The exhibition included 10 works and a massive mural of 2 x 10 meter about South America, deforestation, utopia and my love for nature. You could claim a piece of the mural which is on canvas. End of the exhibition 5 claimed pieces were cut out and sold. If you are interested its still possible to see the whole work to claim your own piece. Contact me for more information.