Karen Vermeren

Small mine stories, layering my view.

Sep 23, 2017

© Karen Vermeren

All we can see is dust.

245 million years old dust. Beyond my imagination.

A foggy limestone cloud is spread around.

In and on top of the city. We breathe it.

The Land Rover is spraying it through the windows.

By explosions the mine is breaking in pieces.

A mine worker has the job of wetting the blowing limestone.

When it’s raining he is unemployed.

2062 will end the job of 350 miners.

Maybe it’s not that bad if the mine operates as a (new) touristic attraction, a clear green Caribbean lookalike lake by then.

Maybe with trout. Hidden in nets. One worker is saving them now from foxes and birds. Selling them to the people earns his daily bread.

Once the mine was split by a sand wall. Transported by a glacier. The ground water rose behind.

This water is not fully under control. June was filling the mine again.

 

© Karen Vermeren

Small mine stories, layering my view.

Raw Materials.

Sep 19, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Raw Materials. A2, silkscreen on newspaper, 2 layers recto verso (edition of 100 – work in progress), 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Raw Materials. A2, silkscreen on newspaper, 2 layers recto verso (edition of 100 – work in progress), 2017

The act of screen printing, by which the ink is transferred directly through the stencil onto the paper, allows for unpredictability. By applying layers of ink to the newspaper sheets, fully control is avoided. Here the painterly process is untameable. Trying to evoke ‘a deep sense of place’ through the silkscreen technique. Every print has it’s unique shifts. In this way the prints are an extraction of a raw landscape. True materiality. Soaked by ink, 49 grams paper feel textured as textile. Yellowing by sunlight makes them ephemeral. Ever changing.
Folding the paper will bring a grid into play. Coördinates to make the cartography appear. As Elke Couchez puts it: “Yet the lines on the maps are not coordinates which simplify the road trip. Instead of stressing the optical organization of space, this is a haptic experience. Raw, unorganized and always becoming. At no point does Vermeren grant us the pleasure and the ease of the overview. This map of the landscape is one for getting lost.”

The Reverse Images of Cityscapes.

Sep 18, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Reversed Cityscape. A4, acrylic on transparent pages (3), 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Reversed Cityscape. A4, acrylic on transparent pages (3), 2017

Mining holes are the reverse images of cityscapes. Opposite to modern city’s and it’s vertical representations, landscape is predominantly horizontal. On the other hand, a stone quarry appears as a city turned upside down. The substratum of high-rise buildings. The grit of highways. Often we are unconscious of the city’s origins and rural birthplaces.

Collecting Limestones.

Sep 9, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Collecting/ Tracing/ Protecting Limestones. Acrylic on transparent and limestone, 2017

Limestone is most of the time composed of grains; skeletal fragments of marine organisms, varying amounts of clay, silt and sand carried in by rivers.

Stones on Stone paper.

Sep 3, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Stones on Stone Paper. 35×50 cm, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Stones on Stone Paper. 35×50 cm, 2017

© Karen Vermeren, Stones on Stone Paper. 35×50 cm, 2017

Rock paper is primarily made from calcium carbonate, a natural byproduct of water and limestone that is found in quarries. A small amount of plastic is needed as a support (20% HDPE). The paper is tree-free, and no water or bleach is used during production. The paper is easily broken down by outside sunlight; 200 micron thick paper will break and crack in a period of 9 to 12 months. It can also be burned without the release of harmful gasses.

Mining.

Aug 28, 2017
Mining

© Karen Vermeren, Mining. 121×69 cm, cut out acrylic on transparent

Cut out. Residual space.

Tracing Limestones.

Aug 24, 2017
transparant drawings

© Karen Vermeren, Limestone Mine City. A4, Acrylic on transparent

Mining

© Karen Vermeren, Limestone Mine City. A4, Acrylic on transparent

© Karen Vermeren, Limestone Mine City. A4, Acrylic on transparent

From Rüdersdorf to Berlin. From nets to renovations.
The limestones are transformed into cement and concrete in the city. They transfer the fences of the geological landscape and pass constructions, ladders and webs to find new grids to nestle.