Hans van Duyn at Mimesia Gallery
His work has been described as connecting the temporary and the eternal, the spiritual and the worldly. His use of materials invokes images of wind, sea, and inner reflection.
The media he mixes into his art have a strong earthly quality yet seem to relinquish their bonds to the soil and transform themselves into solidified thoughts. The imagery, though largely abstract, has a universal quality: grabbing the attention of viewers and mesmerizing through their use of verticals and horizontals reminding us of wind swept land and ancient cityscapes.
We will be opening on the 10th of March with an exciting exhibition including your work. Now to give the viewers some more information on you, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Well, I grew up in and around Noordwijk, and as such I am very much connected to the sea and dunes. Strong and yet vulnerable. I still live and work there. There is a strong connection with the area and community, which still has very much its own culture. I suppose that has become a recurring theme in my work as well. I did a study to become an art teacher, but immediately after made the step to join the Dutch Royal Academy for Art. And have been working ever since.
What does art mean to you & how does it impact your life? Art to me has a double meaning, on the one hand it is an almost religious experience to me, if I may use that word, on the other hand it is very much a contemplative and meditative experience. Delving into my inner most recesses and discovering parts of myself, my view on subjects. The most recurring theme is this quest for connection: linking materials and ideas, but also connecting seemingly unrelated concepts. As I invest a lot of mental resources into my work, I can’t separate my own personal development from my art. Every piece is a reflection of a certain state. So in a sense art impacts my life greatly.
Also, I have been exhibiting my art quite frequently, which brought me into contact with other surroundings, other imagery and other people. I soak up the images, the experiences and that inspires my art as well. In a sense that creates a sort of a vicious circle.
Can you explain a little bit more about where you draw your inspirations from? Apart from the nature in my area and my country, I am also inspired by my travels, the transience and timelessness of that which is, and that which was. Old cities for instance. I try to translate my memories into my art. I am still very much inspired by things like the old Russian icons: timeless imagery, anonymous and instantly recognizable. In their core containing central values and ideas. I collect my ideas and play around with them. Searching for a connection, and stripping away all the
assumptions and ideas to get to its core. And, of course, there are a lot of artists that influenced my work like Tapies, Armando, Henny Bal, Robert Fortgens, Krijn Giezen,
Tell us about the style and techniques of your artwork Well, I use very earthy materials. Materials associated with hard work, and very specific to this area. Varying from the sacks used to transport flower bulbs to even pieces of rope. I bind those together in a process that creates something that translates my thoughts or concepts. I have to say, sometimes the end result surprises me.
Usually my inspiration involves an idea or image that comes to me or is given to me that bounces around my head for a while. It`s already there but i have to dig it up out of my materials. Do I make sense?
What should people know about your art? That’s a difficult one to answer, I hope my art is able to bridge a gap. I try to communicate of my ideas straight into the head of the viewer, not obstructed by things like language or traditional imagery, but rather reaching back to something older and deeper. Something primeval and early.
How do people react to your art? Funny you should ask. I notice that people react instinctively to my works, relating it to experiences, memories and feelings. When you relate to my art on that deeper level, that level that we so often forget to use.
Thank you, Hans, for this very open conversation. We are very much looking forward to the exhibition and especially the impact it will have on the viewer.