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25 juni 2020 | Nieuws

Jordan Herregraven was blown away by Piket Art Prize

Jordan Herregraven, last year’s winner in the Painting category, confesses he was a little nervous before the jury members’ visit. “The nomination came as a surprise,” he says. “It was really exciting. The support and exposure that went with the nomination was inspiring and very valuable.” Winning was a surprise as well. “I had a good feeling but hadn’t really prepared a speech, and being on stage, having to say something is pretty nerve wracking, so I kept it short and sweet. But, yes, it was a great moment.”

Soul searching

“The money came as a blessing,” Jordan says. “It meant I could invest in new tools and materials. Since then I have been able to be in the studio daily and really focus on my work. It has also helped me get through these difficult months and enabled me to do some soul searching, to think about where to go and what to do. There are so many different ways to see life. Thinking about this is like reflecting on the act of creation itself; how to interpret life in a way that surprises. Also, when you’re creating, you change, and how you’re moving and changing becomes part of the artifact.”

Balancing different mediums

Lately Jordan has been working on sculptures in various kinds of wood, and experimenting with incorporating found objects and other materials. And there’s two dimensional work as well. “I’m constantly shifting between different mediums, trying to balance them. I’ve also turned to writing, a kind of experimental novel, fragments of thoughts and memories, symbolic and metaphorical, exploring the depth of situations. I’m thinking of layers of stories with a couple of necessary images.” The idea is not to illustrate scenes described in the text, but to create something where text and image complement each other. “It should be mysterious,” Jordan says. “I like having it vague. I want all aspects of my work, across mediums, to complement each other, yet keep from giving answers or making too obvious a connection. I might even want to create my own typography. Perhaps I’ll try to find a publisher, I’m not rushing it. When you write, you can connect to the audience in such an intimate way, which is great, but frightening, too.”

A strange combination of circumstances

The fact that winning the Piket Art Prize was followed by these uneventful lockdown months seems a strange and not altogether positive combination of circumstances. Looking back on it all, however, Jordan can only conclude that it has done him good. “Having lots of exhibitions is wonderful, of course. But it can take some time to get back to your practice and the forward momentum of a work flow, it’s also nice and can be beneficial when this pause can be avoided. It has been so good to be able step back, to just work daily and really fully invest myself in the studio the past months.” He has also been thinking about practical matters, though. “I hope I’ll be able to travel to the US later this year to see my family. My first priority now is to find a gallery.” As for the Corona crisis: “We went through all of it together. As devastating as it’s been I find it special and hopeful that there is a kind of unity in what we are going through.”

Photo: Hessel Waalewijn, text: Anna Beerens