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(Archive) BERM

a modular landscape brimming with hidden detail

This project was part of DDW 2022
BERM close up — © J. Kuipers

With the flourishing wall sculpture BERM Joris Kuipers brings nature back indoors. Undulating across the walls in an organic composition of unique leaf-like shapes, the monumental relief transforms the interior space into a relaxing landscape full of hidden painterly details.

Unbridled vitality

BERM relates Kuipers’ fascination with the plants proliferating side by side and following each other through the seasons, like a perpetuum mobile he happened to find in the verge of the road. The butterbur blooming in early spring before it overshadows the roadsides with its tall leaves; the buttercups as a vulnerable shimmer through the grass in summer; the field thistle welcoming autumn with clouds of fluffy seeds. All these impressions found their way into the colourful stratification of the relief that has been constructed from countless abstract laser-cut leaves.

Modular landscape

Varying in diameter between 10 and 60 centimeter, the separate leaves are mounted over or next to each other in arrangements of different sizes. They come together in a harmonious composition that grows with the available surface like a modular landscape. Large cloudy pastel-yellow leaves undulate across the walls in a well-balanced pattern. Partially hidden beneath them, smaller leaves playfully alternate in contrasting greyed turquoise and ochre orange. The large shapes underneath show tiny holes, like seeds concealing themselves in the earth. It actually takes an effort to see them. From a distance, the lively rhythm and subtle colour scheme stand out. Simultaneously natural and artificial, BERM becomes a panoramic scenery that creates a quiet, relaxed atmosphere in large interior spaces.

Hidden details

The layered nature of the relief extends to the painted surfaces of the separate leaves, that won’t fully reveal their wealth of techniques and hues until you move real close. The hidden details entice you to explore the work and let yourself be swept along by the C-shaped movement that imbues Baroque and Rococo with such lively dynamics. Eye-to-eye with BERM’s larger and smaller leaves, you can easily lose yourself in associations, musings, memories perhaps of joyful moments. For Kuipers, the work is a reference to his childhood, when he felt small among the towering vegetation and nature was a magical place to play and hide, where he could stay for hours, mesmerised by the tiniest wonders of the world.

BERM 3 segments — © J. Kuipers

BERM wall composition — © J. Kuipers

Vollig Losgelost multiples — © J. Kuipers

Nocturnal Garden