Nel ten Wolde
The lost clothes I find when I'm walking in different parts of Europe fascinate me. Some are completely integrated in the soil and are now one with nature. Every piece gives you a different story of how and where they have been. Over time they have become a still life, ready to be painted.
In the time of the Covid 19 Lockdown I have transformed the pieces of abandoned clothes and let them fly free from the earth.They are all painted in different ways with bright colours to let them stand out from the landscape.
The last pictures on this page are the photo collages made on iPad. These photo collages are being printed on Dibond, 50x50 cm or 40x60 cm. ( Please press arrow on the right to see more paintings).C)lip(P( ple(as adick to 9add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
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A Pilgrim’s progress.
For the last 11 years I have been walking on different Pilgrim’s routes in Spain and Italy and covered about 4.500 km. Walking through landscapes and villages, listening to the progress of my own steps taken over stones or mud, through riverbeds or over a beach. It is a very meditative experience.
While walking one gets to see a lot of detail and I had time to take it all in.
I have taken a lot of photos that I can use as reference and others that I use to transform on my iPad.
While walking, one often comes across abandoned clothes, lost or discarded by their owners. These material items signal an absence from their former purpose, assuming their own life and existence in the environment where they are left behind. The reasons for their abandonment are vast, but meaningful. They can signify an array of meanings, from loss, absence, relationships, the past and presence. The act of discarding clothes sends a message and their existence affects both the spaces and people that inhabit them.
Abandonment can only be understood when exploring the material existence of a garment and its relationship with the people, objects or places it interacts with. There is a history, a present and a future, one that mysteriously eludes us as we walk by them. On the many travels I have undertaken during the past years, I’ve become fascinated with the mysterious existence of abandoned clothes I come across on my journey. My curiosity for their former life, the reason for their abandonment and the way in which they become immersed in the spaces they come to inherit.
The series ‘Ropas Abandonadas’ is my expression of the discarded and lost clothes that cross my path on the pilgrimage trails I have covered throughout Europe, especially Spain. There is a connection between the long and often desolate miles I cover on foot, with the deserted clothing strewn across fences, in riverbeds, along the path or roadside I am travelling.
My work is composed using multiple layers of materials and methods. The process begins with taking photographs of the ‘Ropas Abandonadas,’ along my travels. I put several of these photos together with landscape photos. In this way I recreate on paper, the original context of the abandoned clothes, bringing together the material in relation to the natural environment. My aim is to create a continuation from the original context in which I found them and translating that through each stage of the creative process. I adapt the juxtaposed photographs using the program Procreate, to create additional depth to the images and finish by detailing them through painting and drawing. This gives them the appearance of being submerged, in the same way they are submerged by different layers of the elements in their original environment. Layering these creative stages evokes the mystery and message behind the past and present life of the abandoned clothing.
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