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These vases have been made for a contest in Sarreguemines, France. Every two years a theme is chosen for artists to work on. Usually these themes are related to some kind of utility and in 2002 this was: variations on a vase.
These are my first pieces that can be classified as utensil, or dequalified as I prefer to call it. The vases' inside is not the 'backside of the outside' as in my other works, instead it is a smoothened pot. Bear in mind however that you don't *have* to use a utensil but that you can also enjoy it as such.

These three sisters obviously belong together as a series due to their equality of shape and size. Each of them is distinguished into its use of color and manner of construction.

In their upright position, these objects are unmistakably pots, urns, vases, but turned upside down, they loose their utility character and one's fantasy can run about: pine cones waiting for autumn, petrified sea urchins, fossil buds,...

The vases have the following dimensions: diameter 19cm, height 13cm

Lente Lente
Lente Lente
This first vase has been tinted using a greenish jade bodystain. It is constructed from pyramids, but in contrast to the third vase (below) it was built from closed pyramids like I have used before in 'tree of life' (2000) and Morocco I and Morocco II (1999). The pyramids in this vase are connected in a much more loose kind of way which gives the piece a more natural appearance than these earlier works in which the pyramidal bricks were part of a rigid geometrical scheme. This vase is the barely burgeoned counterpart of the overblown third vase below. Spring vs. autumn; a concept that is enhanced by the use of color.

This second vase, a solar ball, marks the transition from spring to autumn. Its delicate structure represents extrovert summer activity. The particular color is obtained by a mix of ochre and amber bodystains, which I do not mix with the clay but apply on the surface instead. The bricks, triangular notched flakes have been used before in Mexico (1999) but because of the more erect shape of the vase, the effect is completely different. In this vase the emphasis lies more on the prickling exterior whereas in the bowl the attention is drawn to the smoother inside surface.

Herfst Herfst
Herfst Herfst
The third vase is built from a kind of flappets. Pyramids folded open and slides partially into each other, inspired by the structure that is also observed in wooden plant parts that are sold for decoration purposes in bouquets (see pictures below). The flowers have gone to seed, representing autumn and any subsequent seasons that follow a summer of growth. The vase has been colored using bodystains in a mediterranean shade of terracotta.

As mentioned before, similar shapes can be found in nature as well. I picked up these wooden floral remains in a local garden center where they are sold as a decorative element to add to bouquets.

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© 2002 Hans de Brouwer

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