If there is a lake, the swans will go there
Martin Schop

January 17th to February 21st, 2015

Martin Schop-if there is a lake
Martin Schop, “Rabbit hole”, digital print on archive paper, 40 x 50 in.


Galerie Nicolas Robert is pleased to inaugurate its new space with Martin Schop’s solo exhibition ”If there is a lake, the swans will go there”, held from January 17th to February 21st, 2015.

The series of images “If there is a lake, the swans will go there” by Martin Schop has been photographed in the coastal regions of the northern part of The Netherlands, where the artist originates.

The dunes are historically a place that protects the country from harm by creating a natural barrier. As a region that is transforming itself constantly in adapting to environmental and man-induced circumstances, the essence of its unique natural character remains nevertheless untouched. These exceptional sites now bear the status of a protected space, becoming a sanctuary where man is forbidden to enter. The dunes, a symbol of strength and protection, are at the same time extremely fragile. Ever changing while remaining constant, they are affected by the passage of time on the most subtle level by changes in light and shade, to ultimately severe physical scars left by warfare and natural erosion.

In his work, Martin Schop addresses the act of contemplation through observation of the landscape. Taking inspiration from Dutch painters by the likes of Jacob van Ruijsdael and contemporaries, the landscape is portrayed with an intense affiliation for nature. The process used to create these images is that of large format pinhole photography. In this process, the passing of time plays an important role: the image can take up to several hours to register on the sensitized plate. This allows the artist to observe and reflect upon the scene, making the act of photographing analogous to the act of meditation. Revisiting familiar places is not only the exploration of a personal past, but also a reflection on the history of a place and country.

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