De Opsterlandse Bergen

2016, photo series, dimensions variable

In August 2017 I will be artist in residence at Kunsthuis SYB. Kunsthuis SYB is located in Beetsterzwaag, a small village in the province of Friesland. During my residence I will conduct a research project on the perception of the peatlands (in the surroundings of Kunsthuis SYB) as volumes of material. De Opsterlandse Bergen is a photo series I made at the start of my research for the project. Although the images might look like a scenery from a travel guide for the Grand Canyon, they were actually made on the terrain of ground processing company Van der Wiel, amidst the flat peatlands of the ‘Opsterland’ disctrict in Friesland, close to Beetsterzwaag. Opsterland has a rich history in processing peat, but Van der Wiel is one of the last companies in the area to harvest soil for economic purposes. This results in an alien landscape, situated in an area where the surrounding surface of the earth has come to rest decades ago.

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