2017 – Land of Water

Artist statement:

Ever since the series of work ‘Madonna delle Dolomiti’, from 2006 till 2015 light played a role when making jewellery. My lecture ‘From the Light of Delft to the Sparkle of the Dolomites’, at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich 2008, also showed my particular interest in the painterly aspects of revealing the light and its hues.

As a 15-year-old I worked as a technical drafter at the Braat company in Delft. The company was located at almost the same position where Vermeer painted his ‘View of Delft’. So many years later I discovered that this coincidence keeps me busy until today.

As I grow older my involvement with light becomes ever clearer, without having to do anything about it. It nestles in me:

“The incredible leap in the perspective in the painting ‘View of Delft’, by putting the ‘Rotterdam Port’ in that position, is utterly amazing and vibrates. It stays with you”.

Just like the enchanting quietness in the interiors by Vermeer. The same sense of quietness can be experienced in the work of Jan Schoonhoven.

In my present work (2017) I enjoy to engage with ‘sky and water’. I feel like I could be engaged with that for the rest of my life, and in particular with the separation between both elements, the water, and the skies. My starting point was Waterland, located north of Amsterdam. Assisted by a photographer I took photos of the lakes Gouwzee, and IJsselmeer, and its surroundings.

I manipulate these photos on my computer until a moment is reached that it is fit to put in a piece of jewellery. These decisions are phenomenal moments, unknowingly occurring, something that can’t be explained rationally. For me the manipulation of the image of the photographed reality is an unrivalled process.

The series necklaces ‘Land of Water’ is made on painted or printed canvas, and mounted on tin (of a thickness of 0.22 or 0.38 mm). The chains are constructed from plasticized steel wire covered with small silver tubes.

Robert Smit

Amsterdam, August 28, 2017