My latest large-scale work ‘VOGELVRIJ’, made of German sandstone, was recently unveiled in Germany. The two part work was placed in a wonderful green space near the town of Schmalenberg. One part is a small sculptural space allowing someone to enter. On the back of the largest piece, the title can be read as braille. Not as elevated bumps but as holes that act as fensters. One can see through the language of the visually impaired and catch a glimpse of the unrestricted free space that surrounds the sculpture. Placed at a distance from the building, lies a rough piece of the same sandstone. A silent witness of time and a beacon of origin.
Last week marked the installation of my latest large-scale work ‘VOGELVRIJ’ in German sandstone. The two part work was placed in a wonderful green space near the town of Schmalenberg (DE). One part is a small sculptural space allowing someone to enter. On the back of the largest piece, the title can be read as braille. Not as elevated bumps but as holes that act as fensters. One can see through the language of the visually impaired and catch a glimpse of the unrestricted free space that surrounds the sculpture. Placed at a distance from the building, lies a rough piece of the same sandstone. A silent witness of time and a beacon of origin.
The sculpture will be unveiled at the end of this month. Some landscaping still needs to be done in the meantime, and afterwards the sculpture will be documented in detail. More about this project will be shared on a later date.
A small wall sculpture of mine will be on view at Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern in Germany together with work by Christian Hinz (DE), Birgit Cauer (DE), Aleksandar Eftimovski (MK) and Markus Sauermann (DE). On view from 30/7/20223 – 27/8/2023.
Work on the large sandstone sculpture to be set in the Kaiserslautern region, will commence this coming July. These two blocks will be used to create the small building. Each block weighs roughly 10 ton, so there is a fair bit of volume involved. This quarry is still in use and a splendid place to be working in for more than a month.
This year has almost come to an end. It has been a year full of contrasts. Making the 50 ton concrete sculpture for the Anningahof Estate and Sculpture Park, installing the Blue Letters Archive sculpture in my hometown Zwolle and to wrap up the year, adding a large granite sculpture to the Sculpture Route Zeist. Looking forward to working on new projects at home and abroad.
Next year I will make a large scale sandstone sculpture for the ‘Straße des Friedens – Straße der Skulpturen’ in Germany. A sculpture route through Europe, designed as a sculptural gesture against war.
The title of the work is ‘VOGELVRIJ’ which in Dutch contains the word ‘vogel’ meaning ‘bird’ and the word ‘vrij’ meaning ‘free’. The exact definition of the word is: “Being declared an outlaw is an originally medieval punishment for capital crimes. This meant that someone was placed outside the protection of the law.” The word, regardless of its exact meaning, I found visually strong because of the words ‘bird’ and ‘free’. They are associated with flight, freedom, roaming the world freely without any apparent structure. When we dream of birds, in general, the meaning of that dream can be traced back to the subject of freedom.
Freedom and democracy cannot be taken for granted. Both exist by the grace of its limitation. We can only determine the degree of freedom or democracy if it decreases or increases and we are able to take a critical look at developments in this area. In these trying times, freedom and democracy sometimes become very abstract data. People in Western society increasingly think they have a right to everything and people all too often invoke freedom of expression without being strictly accountable. Both freedom and democracy can be eroded very quickly.
The sculpture will exist of a small building made entirely of sandstone, that one person can enter. On one side I will incorporate the word ‘VOGELVRIJ’ as braille. A tactile reading and writing system that opens up the written word to blind and visually impaired people. In this particular case, the braille will not be written as elevated bumps but as holes through which one can see the outer space. From within the restrictions of the sculptural space, one becomes aware of the freedom outside of the sculpture. The person who enters the sculpture will feel the limitations of the structure and see what lies beyond, through a language of the blind. Braille supplies freedom to the blind as language is perhaps the most important instrument of freedom. Now it supplies vision of a free landscape, to those confined in the sculpture.
The 7 ton granite sculpture titled ‘Within the crack lies the whole’ was installed yesterday as part of an ongoing sculpture route leading from the castle in Zeist to the city center. The work will be on loan for at least two years. Other sculptors include: Ewerdt Hilgermann, Jan van Munster, Rob Voerman, Armando, Herbert Nouwens, Arie Berkulin, Herman Lamers, Nicolas Dings, Nick Ervinck and Tanja Smeets , to name just a few from an impressive list of artists.
The sculpture ‘To look beyond our confinements’ will take a bit longer than planned. Although the majority of the sculpture has been installed, one more block of five slabs will be produced and added, to reach the desired height of 6 meters. The eventual sculpture will be clearly visible from the road de Hessenweg where the Anningahof Estate and Sculpture Park is located at.
‘A shelter for the soft voices’ sculpture was made in 2020 and had been on loan for two years to the Town of Angermünde (Germany). The Town Council has decided to purchase the sculpture and install this 10 ton boulder in a place for the young generation to enjoy.