zondag 4 mei 2014

Den Grooten Oorlog

I was asked to write a poem about the first world war for the 100 years WW1 memorial this year. It was used in a theatre production and can now be read on a wall in cultural centre 't Getouw in Mol, Belgium.

donderdag 13 maart 2014

White Block Initiative

 I'm currently studying at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Because many schools in this area don't have the means to offer art education to their pupils but do have a lot of taleted students, some of my fellow students and myself have started the White Block Initiative. We give after school art classes for high school students in the Cloetesville community, and once in a while we exhibit the pupils' work in the public space. It's been amazing to see their enthousiasm, focus and willingness to learn. To keep you updated about this project, which will be going and expanding all year and hopefully even longer, we made this facebook page.

donderdag 6 maart 2014

Comparative Herbarium

Throughout history, scientists, artists and nature enthusiasts have explored various ways of preserving and representing parts of the natural world that they found beautiful or interesting. Each of these techniques has its quirks, charms and problems. After the introduction of photography to the world of botany, for example, botanical illustrations kept playing an important role in identifying and sharing information about plant species, because both drawing and photography have their strengths and limitations. In Comparative Herbarium, I experimented with some of these techniques by trying to accurately represent Pelargonium Cucullatum, or Wild Malva, indigenous to South Africa, to see where the differences lie. This way I could explore different techniques as well as get a better understanding of representation of the natural world in both science and arts. I would like to thank the staff of the botanical garden of Stellenbosch for their help. 



maandag 6 januari 2014

Rhino horn infusion in sketches

Rhino horn is apparently worth more than gold on the black market, but most importantly, it is attached to one of the most beautiful and impressive animals on earth. Fortunately, there are people trying to protect these animals from being ruthlessly slaughtered for money.

Last summer, while volunteering with Transfrontier Africa, I got the chance to witness a team of vets, wardens and volunteers do horn infusions on white rhinos in Balule Private Nature Reserve in South Africa. In a battered sketchbook I recorded what I saw. Here you can see a series of those sketches.

Rhino Horn Infusion is a process which infuses the horn with an indelible dye and which renders the horn useless for either ornamental or "medicinal" use (It was been scientifically proven that Rhino horn has no medicinal properties, but it is largely and falsely believed that they do). You can find an article that explains exactly what the horn infusions are and how they work here.

There’s a lot of effort being put into protecting rhinos, but unfortunately also into destroying them. I would like to ask you to help where you can, find out what you can do, and to support the people who do their best to protect black and white rhinos alike. Let’s keep it ‘the big 5’ and make an effort not to let any of them go extinct.