Jan Eric Visser, Untitled 2017 (River Great Ouse VIII)


Jan Eric Visser

Untitled 2017 (River Great Ouse VIII)

Newspaper, reused file covers, inorganic refuse, votive candle residue.

50 x 33 x 29 cm

Photo: W. Vermaase



Jan Eric Visser creates art from trash. He is an artist deeply concerned about depletion of the earth’s resources. Waste may be finally recognised now as a hugely topical and important subject. However, by no means all of it is effectively recycled. So, Jan Eric aims to be an advocate for a more resourceful society. Through his artistic transformation of trash, he aims to help to change its values. But it is also about his own change.

 “I must admit that I don’t look upon art as another commodity that is easily understood and consumed. Every day I am working towards a transformation of matter, and therefore of myself”

Jan Eric Visser Untitled (River Great Ouse VIII)

This work is  part of a very special edition of works he made in King’s Lynn for our exhibition Trash Art, 10 March – 2 June, 2018. While exploring the town, he noticed trash along the banks of the River Great Ouse. He made a collection of it, and 10 works resulted. The way he works, is to mold a special paper paste around the core trash products. He creates the final form gradually, using his intuition and building up layers. This sculpture has a beautiful mottled blue and white surface. Colour comes from the paper – he adds no dye or paint. Then he waxes over the entire work, using recycled candle wax from Catholic churches. Watch the film ‘Form Follows Garbage’ made by James Murray-White on the Trash Art exhibition page: here.

Always an innovator

Jan Eric Visser is one of GroundWork’s featured artists. He the only artist who makes art so consistently from trash. Based in Rotterdam, the majority of his work begins from his own household. He saves all the paper and card, packaging and newsprint which comes in through the front door. Once it has served its original purpose, he transforms it in his studio into sculptural forms. In Jan Eric’s world, it becomes part of another form of existence for artistic purpose.

Jan Eric trained as an artist at the art academy at Kampen, Netherlands, 1982-7, specialising in sculpture. Always an innovator, he began to pioneer creating art from waste in 1987. Several large public commissions followed. He has had over 40 solo and group exhibitions, mainly in the Netherlands, where he is an increasingly well-known figure. Our exhibition Trash Art was supported by funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Waste for Jan Eric contains the essence of a new poetry. Visser describes waste as ‘the new gold’, increasingly gaining in value. Furthermore in future he believes that it will be more and more commercially traded, sought after and fought over. http://www.janericvisser.nl/

Additional information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 50 × 33 × 29 cm

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