Riff Raff Drift Off, river-journey with a grout bucket, 2020

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a raft made of mix-tubs and plywood, used for a 7 hour journey on the river Dommel             

I believe that the best art can do is giving you a different perspective on things that you already know or are familiar with. It can help you see everyday things from a different angle or with a fresh look.


When the Covid-19 crisis hit us and we were all locked at our homes, future perspectives seemed very bleak. Making art felt rather luxurious and decadent whilst knowing that some of us were fighting for their communities by, for instance, saving lives in hospitals.


I was starting to dream about changing my personal perspectives, trying to think of a bright future in beautiful surroundings. Weirdly I started fantasizing about floating down the river that runs through my hometown, something that I thought would be soothing.

Inspired by the design of a coffee-tray I started working on a raft that was made out of buckets form a DIY shop. When I tested it at the canal near my house I noticed other people were longing for a fun and uplifting project like this too. At least it brought some happy smiles on some people’s faces. It must have looked a bit ludicrilous.


Anyway, my children and lover helped me decorating the raft and friends cheered me on when I floated down the river one day. The journey was incredibly slow, it took me hours to do a few miles. Once I’d left the shore I couldn’t set foot on land for a while.


The most beautiful part was drifting through the neighbourhood where I grew up as a child, while my dad, who is near 80, was encouriging me from the the riverside. I couldn’t see him but heard his voice coming out of the vegetation for an hour or so, while I lied on my back and watched the skies.


I wasn’t sure for a long time if this was an art-piece or just a holiday project. But since it seemed to inspire others and make them happy I decided for the first. It certainly gave me a different perspective on my surroundings, my friends, my family, and the possibilities of 4 buckets and a piece of plywood.




         
 

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