|Water features, plants, fish and birds make regular features in Nederveen's work|
Hello there! Due to work and so on I have been away this week and looking forward that's how it seems it will be for a while! But I'm determined to bring you at least two posts a week! This week I got to ask Steven Nederveen, a game changing artist all about his work and what Images mean to him. Images play a colossal part in forming people's lives and without them the world would be, well not very much else.
I saw one of Steven's pieces back at the 2012 Art fair where I was on Work experience and right at the end of the hall, there was this magnificent tree staring at me. It was amazing walking up to it, almost like it was glowing. What I love so much about his work is the blurring the walls between photography and Art. To create a 'best of both worlds' effect. Leaving the viewers speechless. It's not like anything I have ever seen and I can tell you all that the images on the computer screen do his work no justice. Below are the questions I asked and you can see the complexity and amount of though which goes into creating Images to trigger thoughts and emotions in someone.
Your work features a lot of these white spots, they are a very interesting feature, when did you start using them and why?"Most of my work has to do with revealing a radiance that resides within all things, sort of a life force that seeps through the seams, hinting at what lies underneath. It stems from an eastern philosophy that all things are a manifestation of one universal energy and once we can begin to sense/feel this we begin to feel a connection to our environment and humanity. I use several different techniques to represent this idea. The white spots are sort of floating lights that create mystery and a sense of invisible energies revealing themselves for a moment. These elements bring about a calm meditative quality that calls the viewer to use their intuition in assessing the work. Is this a vision that resonates? Does it feel right? If so, in what way? I want people to feel a connection to themselves, to believe that we are all connected."
Moments of illumination. Nederveen’s paintings, seek to capture the fleeting brilliance of the meditative state—a gentle, shimmering calm; a transformation of consciousness from that which merely survives, to that which lives in this and other worlds. Light speaks.Nederveen’s art makes visible the invisible. Sudden bursts of luminosity reveal the restless stirrings of consciousness and the quiet, dangerous beauty of nature.
What do you think is the most important role Images play in people's day to day lives?
"We are inundated with images everywhere we go, most of it is tuned out as visual noise, to say that images can be important on a day to day basis really depends on the context. For an image to be effective I think it requires a particular quality of attention, it needs time to be digested and investigated. I am mostly interested in what moves people, what resonates inside people. This asks people to feel, to ask and to be curious. I think artwork is a relevant way to ask people to participate in this investigation, ultimately it is a way of finding out about one's self."
When did you first pick up a pen/pencil/camera and start creating Images, what do you think gave you the need to create?
"I was drawing and painting as far back as i can remember, it always been a part of me. Growing up it was always about aesthetics and what makes a good image. Later on I found myself at odds with people who weren't interested in entertaining the idea of self discovery or investigating one's sense of spirituality. Painting became an outlet for that, a way to express my own discoveries and experiences and hopefully meet and encourage others that are on a similar path."
Could you talk us through a little about the process of creating a new piece of work?
"My work is a combination of painting and photography, it tries to blur the boundaries between the two mediums and in a sense blur the boundary between reality (photos) and inner states of being (paint). As people our perceptions of reality are entirely subjective and therefore infinitely varied between people. I use the camera as a way to document a direct representation of reality and then scratch away at the photo and paint onto it to imbue the photo with my own perspective on the world. Which is to try and see the underlying light in all things. There is a thick resin coating pored on top of the piece that provides a wonderful glass-like finish to it. I do this for a number of reasons, it saturates the colours, helps blur the boundary of what's paint and what's photo, it adds to the magical quality of the work and it reflects the viewer into the work. "
Can you Imagine a world without Pictures and Images, If so what's this world like?
"I'm mainly interested in using images for spiritual discovery but I've come to recognize that a great deal of spirituality comes from having honest connections with people and that the sharing that happens is a key factor. In fact much of what is most valuable to people seems to be invisible. Perhaps if we had no images we would be less confused and more adept at sensing the energy that flows through us and binds us together. "
What effect do you think colours can have on people's reactions and emotions to your Art?
"oh, very powerful! I am a big admirer of colour field painting, particularly Mark Rothko. I owe a lot to him, it was looking at his work once and it made me feel something I had never felt before, I didn't know what it was but it felt very powerful. Later I imagined that it was a feeling that monks must have in deep states of meditation. Years later, having embarked on this path of meditation and eastern philosophies I came to experience that same feeling again. How a swatch of modulated colour can have such an effect is baffling to me. I tried my hand at colour field work but feeling like I was making imitations of Rothko I began to see that I needed my own language to describe my experiences."
Behind the canvas, how do you like to present yourself day to day? (fashion wise)
"I'm not afraid of colour at all, I love Paul Smith for his playfulness. I like fitted clothes but casual, I'm not one to wear button up shirts too often. I like fashion and enjoy trying on different styles for different moods."
(Sorry for the stereotypical question) And finally what Inspires you? (Especially on a cold cloudy day)"Cold, cloudy days really are a bitch. I'm inspired by water and the sun! If I think about painting scenes on the inside of a pool or landscaping an awesome zen water feature and imagine how the light will play off things it pulls me out of a rut and gets me wanting to create! "
It was truly interesting to hear what he had to say, so yeah many thanks to Steven and go check out his work! Hopefully one day I will be able to have one of hid pieces hanging in my home. Below is a video which caught my attention on what Images are, I think it says everything I want to say:
So there it is! Hope you enjoyed the post! Back to normal posting starting up soon! Please leave your comments on what you thoughts are as always!
|All Images used in this post have been used with permission from the artist|