#015 - Job Wouters
#015 - Job Wouters
Destination: Møkster, Norway
Date: 29 June - 05 July, 2015
About the print:
Dimensions: ± 50 x 70 cm
Colours: 3 colour silkscreen print, including split fountain, and 1 colour printed on reverse
Edition: 50 prints, signed and numbered by the artist
(frame not included)
A little word by Job Wouters
“I tried looking up information on Møkster online, but it’s not really been documented very extensively online. I could only dig up a handful of photos, so once I arrived, the stunning beauty of the island was even more overwhelming. I expected to work a lot, which I didn’t. I also expected to eat a lot of fish, which I definitely did. It was truly divine to have all the time in the world; solitude without loneliness. It’s been a while since I last experienced this sense of true autonomy without restlessness. Actually it could very well be true that I’ve never felt this pure autonomy before. The way I consumed the landscape and my new surroundings also came as a suprise. I brought books, paint and my laptop with me, but barely touched any of it. The way I consumed the landscape was eye opening. After a day of exploring the island and climbing the rocks I felt completely satisfied.
The idea that – for centuries – people have been hunting for the same fish I was fishing for, from the same rocks I was standing on, fascinates me. I wanted to make an artwork about that thought. I have painted the term ‘hunter-gatherers’, to represent how I felt on the island, like a modern day hunter-gatherer. After all, I did have floor heating in my apartment! The print is made with a split fountain technique, which creates the fluent color gradient, a technique also leaving each print slightly unique. On the back of the print we’ve decided to print the work studies for the typography of ‘hunter-gatherers’, effectively making two prints in one.”
Monday, June 29, 2015 - First post
Muiderpoort, Amsterdam 6.00 in the morning. I take this trip serious, so I do not travel lightly. Note the totem-pole that i created last night to carry my fishing rods: it consists of a construction pipe with a scarf of my son Midas duck-taped to it. There we go!
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - Food on the island.
Yesterday i arrived in heaven. I tried taking pictures of this unearthly place, but heaven deserves a better camera. Will try again tomorrow. (pictures shown: above: dinner, underneath: lunch)
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - Life on the island
Here you see some images of my current backyard. The boy on the last photo is my new island-instructor Henrik. Did I already tell you that we catch a lot of fish? I brought about half of my studio-equipment here to paint and draw, but somehow the fjord keeps on telling me not to stay inside. Fishing lines all over, but not a single line on paper yet. Hope tomorrow will bring a storm.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - I need a boat
People have been telling me about the monsters that live here in the fjord. Have to hunt those 100m deep fields. I made this poster in my outside studio just now. Will put it up in the local supermarket in a bit. Let’s see who bites.
Friday, July 3, 2015 - The Storm
The storm I asked for came today, so I’ll stay inside and will do some homework. Yesterday evening I took a hike to the north of the island to see the sunset, it was devastatingly beautiful. Note my shadow on the rocks on the first panorama picture. On the last panorama-picture you can see my house on the left. Also I caught a lipfish in the afternoon, which sort of resembled the fantasy-fish i painted for the poster. I threw it back because i don’t know whether it’s eatable. I felt a sort of relief because I have been eating fish every single day now. But what do you know, shortly after that an enormous school of hunting mackerel came to say hello. So yes, mackerel for dinner after all!
Saturday, July 4, 2015 - Last day on the island
Last day on the island, time for some reflection. There’s about 60 people living on the island here. A lot of the families have been living here for several generations. (I have been visiting a VIKING grave yesterday) Most people have jobs on the mainland, or are somehow involved on the salmon-farms on the sea nearby. The houses and the lifestyle breathe wealth, but i also sensed a high appreciation for moral qualities as honesty, hard work, and tidiness.
The fishing brought me a lot of social activity: I met people on the known fishing spots and gave away kilo’s of fresh fish. Imagine knocking on a door and presenting a dead fish in Amsterdam ; ), well here you receive only smiles, and tea and cookies. Also my neighbor ‘grandma’ thought me how to make proper fillets, as a result i can strip fish as if they were fresh oranges now.
The urge to create works was surprisingly low this week, it must have to do with the fact that I am absorbing the island, the nature, and the silence so extensively. I have been in a state of constant aesthetic awe, and that pretty much took up all my energy. Most likely the effect of all of this on my work will reveal itself back home in my studio.
Top picture shows a poster I made for my host Mona (which wasn’t here this week, but arranged everything so perfectly) The other picture shows my first-ever caught cod (left) and a large pollack (right) Cod is supposedly very tough to catch from the shore, so I got a lot of respect on the island for that ; )
Oh and I did get a boat! But it is very foggy today, so I’m not really sure whether it’s the smartest move to go out to open sea alone at my last day. We’ll see if the viking gods decide to pull up the grey curtain anytime soon, but to be honest: I couldn’t have been more satisfied with everything i have experienced and learned this week so far.
Sunday, July 5, 2015 - The Boat
Yesterday evening I got a text as a reaction to my poster: “Want to go to open sea tonight?” Yes! so I immediately made a name sign (as I promised on the poster) and an hour later I met Per and his friend Andreas and we went out with their boat. It was a superb evening, we caught some cod and brought it home, where Per’s girlfriend prepared fish soup. We had red wine and beer and cider and quite some local hardcore liqueur afterwards. Had a proper Norwegian hangover this morning, which felt like the most suitable state to end this story. Thank you all! Over and out.