ZUTPHEN – Two different artists, one universal theme; The You are all Stardust exhibition in Dat Bolwerck, which can be seen until November 27, is like a space laboratory. Thinking about who we (think we) are and being able to see the world we live in may be exactly what the artists Jasper Griepink (1988) and Harry Knopperts (55) have in mind.
By Meike Wesselink
“I was born on IJsselkade, but I can’t remember if it was number 11 or number 13.” Harry Knopperts, born in Zutphen and resident in Amsterdam for many years, was admitted to the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem at the age of fifteen due to exceptional talent and exhibited for the first time at the Stedelijk Museum Zutphen at the age of nineteen. 50 years later, Knopperts is back in the city center with a series of paintings that he made between 2017 and 2022. An organic, colorful whole, where Knopperts’ countless reflections and investigations of the relationship between man/woman and man/nature come together. Man, who destroys nature and at the same time tries to preserve it, is a theme that has recurred regularly in Knopperts’ work over the past twenty years. The celebrated artist is willing to explain his work, but he does not feel comfortable being the center of attention. Man is always there in nature. Often alone, without clothes and without a clear gender. Impressive canvases and smaller works, carefully hung in Dat Bolwerck’s two left rooms, is also the place where Knopperts will hold his book presentation of fifty years of work on October 16 at 4 p.m. The book is accompanied by a catalog with the complete, unsigned oeuvre of Knopperts’ work, which through this catalog can be traced back to the creator. “Sometimes frustrating and hard work to revive all these paintings, not always with pleasant memories, but if all goes well, there will be a complete document of time that I can look back on.”
Knopperts did a lot of research into differences and equality between women and men. “I welcome that the liberation issue is a worldwide theme. At the same time, I am concerned about the LGBTIQA+ movement. It almost strikes me as a trend you can hide in if you just feel a little different or insecure. I find it disturbing , when children choose gender reassignment at a young age and are welcomed by their parents. Gender and sexuality change over a lifetime, you have to allow that development space.”
Jasper Griepink also examines sexuality and man in relation to nature. However, Griepink’s work is not only characterized by paintings. With his projects, Jasper invites his audience to enter another dimension. The young people who attend the opening exhibition listen with interest to Jasper’s explanation, which offers a different view of reality with his interactive projects. One of them is Sterre Zwerink (19). On behalf of Walhallab, she and three other interns have built a spaceship that can be seen on the top floor of Dat Bolwerck. “We built the model based on Jasper’s technical drawings without further indication. Only now do we understand the meaning of this object. That this is a Spacecraft that was originally much bigger and that you can actually get into. It was great fun to use new techniques that I can also use in my training at Cibap. It’s a shame we didn’t make the spaceship full size.”
Under the title Before Dirt Was, Jasper created a number of interdisciplinary works, including a painting, a music album and a video installation. “The central question here is whether we can still realize that the earth is not dirty, but is a wise planet with which we can live in harmony. Our mythological history is characterized by male warriors and seductive goddesses. Who or what tells us , that history was no different, and that perhaps man lived with nature on an equal footing, and that there was no conflict at all?
Behind Griepink’s work lies a good amount of IQ, which made Jasper an eco-artist through many travels and training. Hen took his master’s degree at the Piets Zwart Institute in Rotterdam in 2013 and has exhibited in Norway, America and New Zealand, among other places. Jasper is a certified designer in permaculture and has attended various courses in holistic therapies. Jasper translated his knowledge of the healing effect of sexual energy in the Love Space festival held in 2017 in Amsterdamse Bos. With the 24/7 love suite as the focal point. A number of photos of this project have also been exhibited in Dat Bolwerck.
You are all Stardust is part of the long-term theme Becoming Human, which the founder of Dat Bolwerck Vincent Peppelenbosch, together with artistic director Marlise van de Jagt and advisory council Denkwerck, is helping to shape. In contrast to science, technology, money and politics, Dat Bolwerck invites different audiences to stimulate a different consciousness with art on different levels. Becoming Human can safely be seen as the legacy of Vincent Peppelenbosch, who on Saturday 8 October bids farewell to Dat Bolwerck in an artistic and festive way. Everyone is welcome to join from 3.30pm.