MONARCH & BEAVERS
In their first collaboration HE.RO and Westergasfabriek present recent works by Desiree Dolron and Peter Schuyff.
Desiree Dolron presents a selection from her ongoing body of film and photographic work, MONARCH. The series is, in her words, a meditation on “the relationship between our planet’s fragile ecosystem and one of the greatest issues of our time; the human migration flows that are manifesting and growing all across the world.” The immediate subject of Dolron’s images is the North American Monarch butterfly and its extraordinary migration pattern. Every year Monarch butterflies undertake a multi-generational journey from southern Canada and the northern United States down to Mexico and back again. It is one of the most spectacular migrations in the natural world, but one, like so many, threatened by human activity, in this case by extensive habitat destruction along the migration route. Employing an exquisite economy of expression, Dolron employs this fragile subject as a symbol for contemplation of the wider themes of human, scarcity and environmental degradation, imagined on the grandest of scales. They are images, that are, in the midst of their natural beauty, urgent and foreboding.
Peter Schuyff presents Beavers, a monumental collection of 25, large-scale, wooden sculptures. Made over a period of 2 years at Kasteel Baexem in Limburg, the works are carved straight from sections from trunks of Basswood, Linden and Oak trees. They are the latest in a line of sculptures that started with carved pencils and then progressed onto carved branches. It was a development born of idleness whilst Schuyff was on a long trek in the highlands of Papua New Guinea: “At night, while camped out... there was not a lot to do. It was too dark to read and I shared very little language with the locals, so I sat by the fire and whittled branches. I carved them into helix and corkscrew shapes. I suppose those shapes were right because I could carve them by feel. I sort of held the knife stable and turned the sticks over and over. They almost carved themselves.” Since then Schuyff has carved pencils, brushes, wooden spoons, baseball bats and tree trunks. A number of his pencil works were shown in the Whitney Biennial 2014.
As with his distinctive geometric paintings, much of the compelling quality of the works stems from the tension between their handmade aesthetic and the perfection of the patterns they approximate. As with all his works, they are the product of a process in which Schuyff, as much as is possible, tries simply to ‘get out of the way’.