Industrial and Cultural Heritage exposed

The main theme of his work is industrial and cultural heritage. Sources of inspiration for his paintings are abandoned and often ruinous buildings. He records these often before demolition by photographs and sketches. These are worked out in his atelier at the Vest in the historic city centre of Gouda.
Use of colour and use of light make his paintings special events. Dark disconsolateness is changing into light and warmth. Regularly he adds characters into his paintings who provide another or an extra dimension to the image, like brides, monks and observers. The tension in their relation is sometimes nearly tangible.
Besides the oil paint for the top layers he mostly uses acryl paint as ground-colour or priming. In several paintings he has used gold foil, acryl modelling and glazing gel.

Railway Zone

As in many other Dutch towns, Tilburg’s railway zone (Spoorzone) is currently being redeveloped.

The railway zone in Tilburg is a large, elongated area of 55 hectares
running through the city centre. It is not uniform but has three distinct subsections,
of which the NS (Dutch Railways) workshop section to the immediate north of Central Station is the most interesting, since this subsection will eventually become a dynamic extension of the current city centre.

Exactly one hundred and fifty years after construction of this workshop area began,
Dutch Railways have moved out and returned the site to the city. Redevelopment of
the NS workshop section, with its monumental buildings, will reinvigorate Tilburg’s
cultural heritage. These historic structures – along with other railway elements such as rails and signals – imbue the area with a unique quality and energy, making the railway zone a fascinating combination of urban renewal and industrial heritage.

The railway zone has a history, a past in the form of vacant buildings from
different periods that represent a considerable range of late-nineteenth and twentiethcentury industrial architecture, and the area is also profoundly marked by remnants that evoke the theme of passage. These vestiges of the past include not only the workshops once used for train maintenance, but also the extant infrastructural elements, such as rails, switches and signals, which relate directly to transport and travel, concepts that are inseparable from the notion of time. The past can clearly be felt in this place, and yet the entire redevelopment zone is oriented towards the future.

After a visit to the Railway Zone on July 11, 2015, Bert has painted eight small oil paintings of the main halls of the former railway complex. Four of them were exposed during the exposition 'Little Treasures' that was held in Bologna (Italy) from November 28 until December 11, 2015.

The other four paintings were exposed in the Marziart International Gallery in Hamburg, Germany. The exposition was held from April 22 until May 18, 2016.



The Royal Leather Factories Oisterwijk

The Royal Leather Factories Oisterwijk was a company that existed from 1916 to 2000 in Oisterwijk in the southern province North Brabant near the town Tilburg.

The place Oisterwijk was known for many years beacause of its tanneries. In this context, the Leather Factory Oisterwijk was founded by Mr. O.J. van der Aa. In 1920 the company was taken over by the leather group of family Adler and Oppenheimer. They had factories throughout Europe and the company specialized in calf leather.

In 1932 the Royal designation was granted and the company became known as Royal Leather Factories Oisterwijk.

The period of mergings and acquisitions began in 1966. The company was taken over by the conglomerate Hagemeyer In 1970. Hagemeyer also acquired the Royal Chrome Leather Factory Amstel Waalwijk. The two companies merged in 1974 and became known as Royal United Leather. Meanwhile it started getting worse in the leather industry, and in the 90s of the 20th century losses piled up and the company was closed in 2000. In 2004 the Royal United Leather was declared bankrupt.

In 2009, the township and county jointly became the owner of the premises. The project called 'My beautiful Brabant' has started the renovation of the boiler room and engine room. Diederendirrix architects started in 2010 with making plans for the restructuring of the whole area, including approximately 26 000 m of industrial heritage and national monuments.

Bert visited the site and made several Sketches and photographs that he used for his paintings. The video provides an overview of the whole complex including some particular sites which can be discovered in the paintings sometimes in another shape.



Maas Silo Rotterdam Netherlands

The construction of the site started in 1906 and quickly became the biggest grain storage silo in Europe, able to store 20.000 tons of grain. Somewhere in the 90s it was decided to store the grain elsewhere but the building stayed. Now the grain is gone but loads of the pipelines, concrete walls, floors and hallways are still there.
De silo is one of the sources of inspiration for the paintings of Industrial heritage of Bert Hermans.



Original Fayum Portrets and matching Egyptian Music

Fayum mummy portraits is the name given to a large number of paintings from the first to third century. These are tempera or encaustic paintings, made with hot, pigmented wax on wooden panels, which were inserted into the mummies of the deceased.

The surviving paintings are predominantly from the Fayum region in Roman Egypt, where the practice was common and the dry heat preserved many of the paintings until today.

These portraits inspired Bert to make reconstructions with oil paint on wooden panels of several mummy portraits. The video and the Egyptian music provided the basic background for the inspiration of the reconstructions.



LightSpaceTime online "Open" 2018 Art Exhibition

Bert won a 6th prize at the LightSpaceTime "Open" 2018 Art Exhibition for the painting 'Kokerei Zollverein 2' and a Special Recognition Award for the painting 'Illusion 1'. The jury wrote: 'Your artwork is outstanding and you should be very proud that your work was chosen from 702 entries which were submitted from around the world'.



Ruhr Area Germany

Hundreds of coal mines produced coal in the Ruhr area, but only this one has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2001. With good reason: the Zollverein Coal Mine is a masterpiece of industrial architecture, created by the visionaries Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer. The symmetrical arrangement of buildings is still impressive today: the facilities designed down to the last detail are a completely preserved synthesis of the arts.
Until 1986, a total of 240 million tons of coal had been produced, up to 8,000 miners worked day and night above and underground. Today, the industrial monument is a dynamic cultural location with museums for industrial heritage and design.The famous pit head gear impressively represents the change of a whole region. About 1.5 million guests from all over the world meanwhile visit the site every year to experience the exceptional industrial architecture.

Bert's triptych is inspired by a visit of Bert to the former coal mine 'Zeche Zollverein' near Essen in Germany at the end of September 2017.