I am a guest artist at the forthcoming group exhibition Botanica Poetica, from October the 16th to November the 13th 2022 curated by Cees de Boer at Galerie Ramakers in the Hague. The exhibition includes the work of herman de vries, Sjoerd Buisman, Piet Warffemius, Stefan Cools and myself. I am delighted to be showing with such good company.
My work is a series of “Love Letters” to my garden plants. I adore my garden, it brings me so much joy. I have several new pieces. These are text and image works that tie in with my Cabinet of (Natural) curiosities that I have been building. I am not going to give a preview to all of the work but here is a glimpse of one. This is a “love letter to my cherry tree“. I didn’t realise that it even was a cherry tree. It was a worn and intriguing tree that produced a lot of rich green leaves. One day I decided to remove the covering bricks the previous owner had dotted on the surface. I dug and I dug and I discovered it was approximately a cubic metre of bricks. I replaced it with almost innumerable bags of organic soil. Two weeks later I was rewarded with an ebullient and vivacious display of flowers. It now flowers yearly.
The entirety is wrapped in a cardboard file in a cuboid shape. The file is a variation on a document storage type I found in the archives of the Museum Rijswijk, my thanks to Arjan Kwakernack for his huge help that day. This particular one dated from the 1950s but I am sure this has an older precedent.
As it is a deeply personal work, I felt it wasn’t a full picture of my cherry tree without adding some of the brick that had such an influence upon it. This body of work explores the intimacy of urban green space, the luxury of gardens, the haven they produce for wildlife and the effect of native and non-native planting. How one small green space can have such a profound effect. I have “small adventures”, I discover the garden in intimate space and time, the breathing space that many of us crave. I focus on details which then led to a huge series of works including these letters.
“Love letter to my Cherry Tree” brick, petal, drawings and text, 2022