1:) How does your work for this exhibition relate to Uncertain Edges.
I work with the materials I find on my daily walks in the rural area near where I live. Walking gives you time to contemplate and think about nature and what it is. Today, one finds plastic almost everywhere on this planet. It is in our blood and in our stomachs. It creates new islands in the sea, and millions of other man-made objects are now incorporated in the animal, plant and mineral kingdom. My work leans heavy on this idea of the uncertain definition of what we call nature.
The series of work shown at the Uncertain Edges exhibition also explore the boundaries between drawing, small scale installations and photography, resulting in “uncertain edges” between the different mediums.
2:) Can you explain your artistic process?
Simply put: I walk, collect, combine, draw and make a photo of the “still life¨.
Walking gives me time to contemplate and experience the nearby surroundings. I see how discarded objects live together with trees and bushes. I collect them for the still life’s.
To take the object away from the place where I found it is the first disturbance and change. The next one is to combine them with other objects I found in other places. Bringing them together creates a narrative. I draw in the still-life to interfere, to enter the discussion. Then I take a photo to move the whole story even further away from reality so that the image becomes autonomous.
3:) Can you explain something about the content of your work and the inspiration/impetus behind it?
I love to work within the language of drawing. Lines, planes, structures, spaces etc. But on top of this abstract framework I touch on the questions about the ¨nature¨ of nature. The identity of objects and how they relate to time, their environment and to us.
I think it’s important to connect with the world around us, on an empathetic level. Being aware of not only the living world around you but also the world of objects.
4:) How and where do you make your work?
I’ve built a studio in the garden, in the countryside, near Villar del Arzobispo, (approximately 50 km from Valencia), following the example of my grandfather who was a painter and violin builder. I always loved his studio and hoped that one day I would be able to built my own studio in the garden too!
It is full of boxes with things I’ve collected over the years, organized by material, size or shape. There is a box for dried-out pomegranates and shelled almonds, another for rubber or iron objects.
I have one table I use for drawing and painting and one table to build the still-life on. I’ve put in a skylight window in the ceiling, which gives lovely light, but in the summer it can be pretty hot too!.
One side of the studio is a chaos full of boxes and canvases, the other I have to keep empty as it’s where I work. I prefer to work in a chaotic environment, it keeps my thoughts creative and open for random input,
but, on the practical side, I need an empty space around the latest piece I’m working on.
Joost Gerritsen’s work revolves around the concept of integrating man-made objects into the realm of nature itself, questioning the romantic concept of nature in the Anthropocene age.
His recent still life photos are a continuation of his installations made of discarded materials found on his walks.
Gerritsen creates small, intimate worlds with his studio set-ups, incorporating drawings inside the still-life’s as well. In his latest photographic work he explores the identity and relationships between objects and how they relate to himself. Mixing the alien found objects with personal memorabilia and drawings to find an emotional connection.
Joost Gerritsen graduated cum laude in 1993 from the A.K.I., Academy of Fine Arts, in Enschede, Holland. Since 2006 he lives and works in the countryside of Valencia, Spain. In 2007 he won the Art in the Volkspark Award and has exhibited extensively throughout the Netherlands, UK and Spain. His works are in many collections including the RABO Bank Enschede, SBK Amsterdam and the AKI Academy of Fine Arts, as well as in various private collections.