Bart Drost (Venlo, 1955) lives and Works as an artist in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
A serie of installations by Bart Drost at Arts Letters and Numbers, August/September 2015
Bart’s adventure started at The Shop, that huge space on the ground floor of The Mill. When you visit it for the first time it looks like a chaotic mess, so many stuff of all kind, everywhere around, in all corners. It was too much. But suddenly he discovered an old wheelchair and from than on the story started to tell itself.
At the end of 2014 the grandparents of his daughter Eline both died. Her grandfather suffered from dementia and he ended his life in a wheelchair. He looked very satisfied, in a way hassle-free childish. Was he happy? One couldn’t verify. As a memory of grandfather Frits and his illness Bart made an new artwork: a small wheelchair with very high grab bards. It looked like a toy. Why we do give children a small stroller to play with, or a little car but never a wheelchair? Is it because we are so used to ignoring the ‘dark sides of life’?
So finding that old wheelchair in The Shop turned out to be the beginning of a series of ‘vehicles’ that people use/need during their lifetime. Bart made drawings of a stroller, a buggy, a scooter, a skateboard, a bike, a walker, the wheelchair and finally the litter where you lay when live is over.
Then the drawings became cut-outs and the cut-outs became part of a small merry go round that after all turned out to be the model of a full-scale one.
In this period the residence artists of ALN visited MASS-Moca and Bart was excited about the works of Jim Shaw. Back in Averill Park he went to the studio in the evening (what really was special because his working hours mostly are from 8 hs in the morning until 14 hs. The afternoon is reserved for his bike rides) and made a series of nine large sheets of brown paper where he cut out the life-vehicles. Next day he painted the sheets white and a new piece of art was born!
The cut out paper vehicles he folded as small as possible and he tied a ribbon to. Presented on a butchers chopping block it represents the complete arsenal of surprises life can offer each one of us everyday.
The fourth part of his works are the vehicles made of rest wood he found in The Shop. At this moment this is an important issue for Bart: as he left home he decided not to buy any new materials or tools for the artworks he eventually should make at ALN. In addition heintended not to take theeventually new art works back home to Holland. For the presentation on August 29th at ALN Bart made a kind of cross court in The Shop.
The nine wooden vehicles later were part of a performance in The Mill: nine actors moved each one of the vehicles and formed a Living Merry Go Round. Finally all the actors were interviewed about the rol ‘their’ vehicle played in their own life.