Visual artist Folkert de Jong on what art means to him
The sculptor shares his thoughts ahead of an exhibition at the GI
For me, art is about life and the human condition. It’s a very efficient medium to communicate about life and our individual position in it. I see the art exhibition space as a podium on which I can communicate with an audience. The audience becomes a witness rather than strictly a viewer. I want the audience and the artwork to be on the same level.
I am very thankful to Jenny Brownrigg, the director of exhibitions at the Glasgow School of Art, for giving me the opportunity to go wild at GI. It’s a great opportunity for me to communicate my ideas in a short but intense way.
In general, festivals like this are helping to create awareness. The interaction between art and people in a festival situation accelerates this.
In my work, I make use of the strong visual qualities of the specific materials that I work with. The art space thus becomes a metaphor for real life; like an illustration, it creates a perfect, safe distance and playground to study and reflect upon complex questions, such as the mystification and manipulation of reality through powerful business strategies.
My first and best experience [of Glasgow] until now is with the people from the Glasgow School of Art and the Mackintosh Museum, but I am sure to learn more during the festival; I’m looking forward to seeing Kaye Donachie’s work a lot, and meeting some more artists when I am there.
Folkert de Jong: The Immortals, Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Fri 20 Apr–Mon 7 May.