Waiting for the world to change (formerly known as Message to a blind giant)
200 Apping glow in the dark garden gnomes
Private collection, Cape Town, South Africa
The essence of this installation is all about the powers that influenced the creation process of the piece, and the final outcome that was fully driven by serendipity yet also made everything fall into place.
Early 2016 a request came from a private collector in Cape Town to ship 200 gnomes to his new office and develop an installation around them. After several iterations Message to a blind giant was developed, an installation mounted to a wall in the office. And then real-life kicked in :-)
Tons of practicalities delayed the realisation of the piece: the wall was not strong enough, the carpenter to create the work and reinforce the wall was hard to find, and of course 10.000 kms of distance between artist and realisation. Yet, after a month of silence, word came from Cape Town: the work was finished. Hell yeah! Well, not really… The office decorator that was responsible for furnishing the office had some practical objections against the piece, decided to put all gnomes in a big open closet against the wall and thereby finalised the piece. Wether that was ok?
The reactions running through my body ranged from shame to urges of violence. Yet in the end, it all started to fall into place: A piece that was moulded by real life, rather than the hand of an artist. Money and power (as has been for centuries) ruling over the artist's creativity, and finally the gnomes standing in a closet in South Africa as a beautiful symbol for all repressed groups together waiting for their world to change and get out of this closet. As my dear friend Harmen ‘the voice’ Sipkema would say; “Be grateful, since this piece of art has been a great learning exercise in the fundamentals of Tai Chi…"