English

Leeg Landschap (Empty Landscape) is an extension of my practice in which I operate within the context of spatial transformation processes. Instead of the production of a work of art, looking at the landscape as a work of art in itself is key. Based on personal exploration of the landscape, I develop interventions by which the public gain new perceptions of the landscape and assign new meanings. The aim is to create physical and mental space for emptiness, openness and surprise as qualities in the design of our landscape. Empty Landscape is therefore an artistic response to the Dutch landscape that is becoming increasingly fuller, more predictable and anonymous due to economically and politically driven spatial transformations such as the construction of distribution centers and solar parks.

 

Artistic research

My specialty is exploring and observing places and spaces that are deserted, forgotten, or silent and empty for other reasons. My stay and on-site exploration are essential activities to investigate a place from within. I observe a place from the question: what is present in the empty space? In response to what I observe on site, I develop my own research methods for each location, in which I combine media and techniques, such as sound recordings, cartography, archive research, drawing, archeology and photography. The research reveals unknown narratives and unseen spatial characteristiscs, which generate new meanings of a site. The outcomes of the research can be reflected in a master plan, a design concept, a subjective atlas or other forms of publication and presentation.

 

 

Design

After having done a number of assignments for physical works of art in public space, I discovered that my interest was more in the environment of those works than in the artwork as an isolated object. I believe that art in the public space can and should make people curious about the environment in which they are located, yet I believe that many works of art distract this attention from their environment as they rather draw attention to themselves. In line with my opinion that the removal of objects can just as well be art, I am therefore now more concerned with creating environments as a whole. I will not take the chair of landscape architects, instead, I will join their table, as an artistic consultant and co-designer.

 

Workshops

For me, workshops and guest lessons are at least as important as my exhibitions, because they lead to inspiring discussions about space. My workshops are for creative spatial professionals who want to look at a building, urban environment or landscape in a fresh and different way. I prefer to perform my workshops at a specific site, where I take my participants on artist-led walks or send them out for exploration. Participants learn to explore and record a place in their own way by using all their senses, and to discover qualities that remained hidden before.

 

Collaborations

Between 2008 and today I did research, design and educational assignments for and with a.o.: Het Instituut, Amsterdam; Province of Gelderland, Province of Overijssel, various municipalities, Kunstenlab, Port of Rotterdam, Wageningen University, Cultuurmij Oost, Stichting Verborgen Landschap, Twijnstra & Gudde, CBK Zeeland and UMC Utrecht. These organisations have in common that they look adventurously at spatial issues and want to add room for imagination and wonder in an inspiring and connecting way.