What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass?
Artists with a common medium like glass can form a cohesive group through initiatives like North Lands Creative Network. This will help to give glass art a solid base in the art community as a whole. That is why I joined.
Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice?
In general, my work is philosophical above all. You could say that I am always searching for the next question. I question the appearance of art, the fragility of life and the interaction of human beings in friendship and compassion.
Has this changed the way you approach your work?
Yes and no. This is my core being. My work derives from it, but since this is an on-going and ever-changing process I am led by that process as well.
What initially captured your imagination about glass?
Hahaha, well, whatever it was, I could not sleep for a whole week! My first encounter with glass was through glassblowing. The fluidity, that’s what got me so exited . You can still recognize it in the way I make my sculptures: it is all about the right moment, where the glass starts to move right before I stop the process again.
What’s the significance of the handmade to you?
Handmade is a form of luxury. Technically it could become redundant one day. And although technical progress offers new possibilities and new insights in what art is, I am confident that the handmade will still have a place in the future.
What was your route to becoming an artist?
For me this is a second career, I started when I became 40 years old. By learning how to blow glass. Seven years later I joined the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam as a student at the Glass department. My life before art was dominated by social connections and working with people and animals. Being an Artist in your own practice is somehow a rather lonesome business. I do miss that day-to-day social interaction.
What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
My artistic practice has become really diverse. I make sculptures and installations, of many different materials. Glass is just one of them. Raw wool, sugar, plaster, clay, actually it does not matter. When I work, I will always try and find the best material for the concept, even when that material is new to me. I also do fabric design, video, photo, garden design… like I said, very diverse.
How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?
Well…my work is figurative, dealing with life and all that encompasses this. I have a bit of social activism in me, but that is not why and how my work fits within the sphere of contemporary glass. To me as an artist, the question is mood. I work today, my work is contemporary by definition. As to how it fits… time will tell.
Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?
I need nature around me. My artistic process is a continuous interaction between my time indoors and outdoors. My outdoors, my garden, is as much part of my practice as my kiln is. It is content, medium and material in one. Another vital part of my process is intellectual feedback through reading or debating with fellow artists.
Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?
I see artworks that make me wish I made that work. But they can be works from so many people and they are not always artists. Aesthetics for me refers to the senses and the sensory experience. I could not give you names. There is beauty to be found everywhere.
What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?
New developments. I find it fascinating how quickly the world changes. Think of the new ways artists are working with a phenomena like spatial expression. Artworks that do not exist in reality… But that is not even entirely true. Because reality as I have always known it, is altering. And young artists are able to express themselves artistically in that new reality in ways that I never could. But I am thrilled to see it happening.
How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown?
A lot. My agenda is almost empty. However, I am confident things will start up again and it might even get better than before. I am inspired and all fired up to go forward , and I found a new and better outlook on my artistic practice.
One thing has become quite clear to me in this pandemic: the importance of human interaction. The importance of a smile ☺