In order to shape resistant matter, such as stone or hardwood, you might think that you have to impose your ego to succeed. This impression arises from the common approach to reality in occidental thinking and behavior.
Whereas in oriental thinking, the visible is an illusion, and man is not the center and goal of evolution. The visible is connected with the invisible - the infinite.
You can contact the infinite through meditation. Sculpture is, for me, a form of meditation; a communication between the tangible and the illusory.
I am not trying to make pieces of art, primarily; or to invent a new and original style. In a constant dialogue with clay, wood and stone, I seek the right form.
Evoking, suggesting, without being subjected to appearances, caricatures and stereotypes; making sculpture is connecting your roots and the roots of mankind.
For me, sculpting is also contacting the mineral and vegetable kingdoms; a very elemental process. I think that so-called "primitive" art is very close to these kingdoms. Here, art is mostly an incantation, and an exorcism of the void.
Finding the right form has, for me, the same function. Though many seem serene, these sculptures are silence in action, against the void.
- Henk van Straaten
Henk van Straaten Curriculum Vitae