In four months’ time, I will turn fifty. I regard this as a suitable occasion for an interim review (of my artistic skills). For a variety of reasons, what I describe here, relates to where I find myself today and what I consider to be important. It is in fact a selection (of past activities); it was impossible (and as far as I am concerned also unnecessary) to reflect on everything.
Looking back on my (early) exhibitions, the solo exhibitions at the Galerie Frontaal (Appingedam, 2003) and Kunstruimte NP40 (Amsterdam, 2006) were important ones. At both locations, as a starting artist, I enjoyed complete freedom in design. At the exhibitions, a mentality of working empathetically also became evident. As an extraordinary honour, I experienced a (solo-show case) presentation of eleven of my portrait drawings in Museum Belvédère (Heerenveen-Oranjewoud in 2011). The interior of the cabinet was beautifully presented by the museum.
During a number of residences, relating to the presentation mode of my drawings (which I always presented framed) new steps were taken. As the completion of a five-week period of working in the Wall House (Groningen, 2015), in which I drew the views of the Hoornsemeer from an elevated position, a one-day presentation of drawings was held. For this, the drawings were displayed installation-like, lying on a long row of tables placed together in the centre of the exhibition space - covering the complete panoramic views of the Hoornsemeer. For viewers, this created a direct shared sense of connection between the drawings and the views (that formed the reason for the drawings).
In the Spring of 2016 I stayed/worked in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig for about three weeks; a beautiful estate on a lake in Ireland - I had views of the lake from my studio. This period proved to be too brief for a final presentation, but my stay there was (later) to become a cherished experience. The house was occupied by a curious mix of (interesting and/or pleasant), artists from several disciplines-including: writers, poets, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists. The nearest village was located a few kilometres away from the house. I am still pleased that it was there that my attention was drawn to the 'Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection' - an exhibition of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery in Dublin. The (beautiful) drawings there were displayed in a simple way, which actually made them stand out in the most optimal way.
During a five-week period of working at Galerie Block C (Groningen, 2016) I also drew the views there. In this process, factors such as the dynamics and rhythm of chalk lines were important.
Most of these drawings are expressive and highly abstract. As was the case in the Wall House, Gallery Block C held a one-day presentation of drawings at the end of my working period there. Using sheets of MDF board (of the same size as the drawing paper) the drawings were displayed, standing up in rows along two of the walls. This presentation method logically flowed on from the work process and the location (the space at the gallery). I had regularly stood up the drawings on which I was working (to be able to assess them from a distance) against sheets of MDF. In my opinion, this installation-like presentation also did the eight drawings plenty of justice individually (as was also reflected by the responses I received from some visitors). As a result of the experiments (during work placements) with ways of presenting my drawings, they were presented as originals without any frames at the 'Parallel' exhibition in the Melklokaal (Heerenveen, 2018).
Portraiture, the landscape-or the view from my apartment, shaped the motive behind my drawings for two decades. By drawing these subjects in investigative pencil and chalk lines, they were being explored. This resulted in drawings with an often delicate balance between (among others) abstraction and figuration and/or stillness and dynamics. After my last period of work at Galerie Block C, although I have sporadically reverted to portraits, I have gradually continued on the same journey. As from the Spring in 2018, I am drawing without concrete source - beyond the work itself. Chalk lines are more autonomous and more dynamic; the drawings are (in my view) more energetic than before.
To organise my thoughts and impressions about my exhibition visits (and/or the artists I admire), I have started writing recently. I seem to derive much pleasure from writing. In my world of art, writing, and life, I find myself (move) in a positive setting. I prefer to live in the present, and therefore I will not conclude with a long-term outlook. The only intention that I express here is, after writing five small texts (in a relatively short period of time), to start working in the atelier again soon. This is how things are for now (November 2018).