In this section, six young visual artists who graduated from an art school in the Netherlands in 2021 write letters to each other telling how starting their lives as visual artists is going for them and what they are working on. Taking turns, one of the six artists writes to the others what is on his or her mind. The artists who participate in this column are: Lauren Raaijmakers (WdKA graduate), Leonie Fernhout (WdKA), Jelle van Kuilenburg (ArtEZ), Repelsteeltje (WdKA), Hannah Meijer (HKU) and Loes van Reijmersdal (St. Joost).
Utrecht, March 15, 2022
Automatic writing I once received from my teacher Harm Hajonides. Probably slightly inspired by Jack Kerouac, from that book On the Road, you know. Phenomenal man that Jack, but Harm was one of my favorite teachers in years 1 and 2 at HKU. Automatic writing is a concept where you write down exactly what comes to mind with no filter and no preconceived notions. Just start and go. OFSELF. Of. itself. Personally I feel a kind of hurry with this. As if I also have to be very quick. Trying to keep up with my thoughts and write at the same time. My head goes way too fast for that. But then again. Sometimes there's nothing... Like now...
A response to your letters, I must write. I find your letters interesting to read. They are different but also the same. Like about anything actually; different but the same. Broken bikes from Jelle I remember. Cancer house of Repelsteeltje.
Are you also so busy with all the other things besides making art? Mailing, arranging, side jobs. Just working in my studio (which, by the way, I barely can pay) seems to get very little out of it. This strikes me. At the academy I could devote myself 6 days a week to the creative process. That process is now sometimes hard to find, although I do produce and have exhibitions that I am very happy and proud of. In the Mondriaan House and at Collection De Groen. That's not nothing!
Maintaining a website, did you know that that, so to speak, really takes time?
I also used to do assignments at school, I now remember. Or actually just in my diary. Or brainwriting, as Leonie describes it. You now get to see exactly how my head works. Quite personal actually. Maybe not at all. Would you like to take a look at my brainwriting? I can do that. I keep lists. You can have one for free.
Because you have to understand that this is obviously valuable:
Very witty that fake notebook. Fixed setting of my word processing program a.k.a Pages. You also know what kind of laptop I use (MacBook). I still don't know whether I think it's funny or terrible, that notebook. But is it art?
I can sometimes spend months or years on a list like this. Then every now and then I add to it. I just know it's important, but not yet what for. So this is also a work process for me. Then you know that again.
Color. Maybe do I but the colors from Mondrian, as ode to Mondrian House. These text colors would probably have really hated Mondrian himself if he were alive. Sorry Mondrian, that it turned out this way.
In this way the structure of this letter, of course, all fall apart. Is that a bad thing? Should I just be more serious and maybe tell something about my work? That I'm not actually a writer but a sculptor? That I make hermetic work that looks like fake research? That word "hermetic," by the way, is something I heard someone say about my work once and adopted. Or hear not tell you something like that?
Material huh, that's really what it's all about. That's what I like most about art. That people are able to think up a story with everything, a narrative. That color, material and form can be given a symbolic value. Isn't that actually just the core of art but also of culture? That is what is actually at the heart of my work; that materials come together, a transformation undergo, start talking to each other and form a story. A story in the form of a visual object. That makes my heart beat faster.
Well, still managed to say something, and it didn't come to me forced. That's always nice. When things go OFTEN?
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