JELLE VAN DEN BERG
12 AUGUST – 8 SEPTEMBER 2012
There’s not enough ROOM so to speak.
In Juan’s (one’s room) room stuff piles up. Despite what he parts with, bits and pieces come crawling back in. Juan’s history is littered with gifts, mementos, bric-a-brac, the subjects of still lives past and those yet to be painted. A few years ago Juan had a good idea and he started on the project the same day. One could call it a concept but perhaps that is an overstatement.
He thought to himself quietly, if he did a drawing of each item he could then safely discard it (the object) and put it in the bin. Every day some space was made, some room opened up for new possibilities and with this came a sense of joy and clarity. Computer equipment and software had long gone to the tip... never much good to keep for still lives, and toys, hard and soft went the same way. Then at a certain point there were very few items left and preciousness reared its ugly head. The art of space-making’s greatest foil is nostalgia and any modernist knows this. In Juan’s case, no matter how many clog related gifts clog up a cabinet, Juan is in two minds about what to do. Anyhow, there’s always room to move.
These ROOM pictures are the moments of mediation on the simple things, mostly the tables, the palettes, the windows and the books. These are the small truths and the great folders and holders of things. We push chairs and tables over them and under them we find the mysteries that gleam.
Jelle van den Berg, June 2012
The ROOM series of oil paintings are what evolved from arranging the artists’ studios and translating them, via water colour, eventually into paint. The subjects are ordinary tables, palettes, windows and books but each painting represents a profound connection made by the artist with each object’s mystery and ascribed personality.
Jelle van den Berg is the Painting Coordinator at the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong lives and works between his studios in inner city Sydney and Coledale, NSW. In 2012 he has held exhibitions at Galerie Hoogenbosch in The Netherlands as well as The FCA Gallery at the University of Wollongong.