't Doenker Waeter (Dark Waters) / 2023
Upon arrival, one finds themselves in a coastal area that initially resembles the Dutch norm. It boasts regular sightings of seals, a variety of birds, sandy shores, brisk winds, and the vast sea. However, concealed beyond the outer dunes lies a hidden marvel. Here, small blackwater streams emerge due to tides and salinity, shaped by anaerobic bacteria. The landscape evolves through the influence of numerous bird populations and the wind, dispersing fine sand and pollen from various grasses and plants.
These elements converge to transform this place into a natural creative laboratory. Nature itself works with black ink, golden sand, rainbow-hued iron bacteria, white and blue pigments, while foraging birds manipulate the sand, akin to a painter's palette knife. The outcome is a collection of refined, expressive artworks.
The ever-changing tides, weather, and temperatures directly influence the evolving imagery. Colors ebb and flow, water alternates between black and white, and the wind scatters fruit fluff or pollen across the water's surface, crafting graphic patterns from the subtle tide movements.
My creations capture the otherworldly, almost alien wonders of this natural habitat. Occasionally, subtle hints like footprints, shoreline grass, or shells hint at the scale of these delicate, layered scenes. These artworks are vulnerable in every sense—minimal disruption of the water's surface can obliterate the drawings, and technical limitations challenge the capture of intricate details with minimal intrusion into the environment.
It took time to uncover one of this place's secrets, but every subsequent visit remains extraordinary. I am endlessly captivated. The distinctive fusion of these elements offers a unique experience. Viewers are encouraged to abandon the quest for familiar shapes (anthropomorphism) and instead embrace the unknown to unlock the mysteries of this exceptional locale. The abstraction invites the viewers to discover their own secrets in these images.
I hold deep respect for the seasons of nesting and migrating birds, and I am acutely aware of my minimal environmental footprint, ensuring to tread lightly and remove any litter encountered during my stay in the area.