My work is often based on different historical and material objects trouvés, or it is my own independent interpretation of these. The objects may consist of old textiles, clothing, prints, fashion, texts or my own original work. Their beauty is what connects them.
But can it be justified to have such a broad focus on what art can be? To answer this question I have resorted to history and especially to the Renaissance and the break that happened during this period in the perception of ethics and aesthetics.
The Renaissance led to dramatic changes in the hierarchical structure of society. Dress codes, heraldry and other outward formal symbols were challenged by truths found by individual endeavour. The astronomer Tycho Brahe expressed this change in Latin: “Non Haberi Sed Esse” (Not to appear, but to be).
The break brought with it an ambivalent view on material beauty. On the one hand, as Thomas More describes in his book Utopia; an ideal society, which led to several puritanical movements: a battle between beauty as an aim in itself as opposed to the morally utilitarian and practical: a dichotomy between aesthetics and ethics. On the other hand, both Kant and earlier Aristotle justified the opposite perception. The latter by saying: “The noblest aspect of our lives is the thing we do for the thing itself”. The former by insisting on art being free of interests.
Against this background I believe that my quest has been based on both principles. The ethical aspect is the respect shown human endeavour and diligence expressed in the different remnants I have used.
An example could be my use of old manuscripts and letters. One experiences the presence of long deceased individuals through the material remnants they have left, being a melancholy “Memento Mori”, and an aesthetic delight in experiencing the renewed force of artistic life, now framed behind glass.
Accordingly, my work can be summed up in the Latin name of my webpage: Sic Et Non Aliter (Thus – and not otherwise): this is my way of uncovering beauty.