An Ocean in Between the Waves (Signed)

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Self-published, 2024. Edition of 500 copies, numbered and signed. Softcover, 128 pp., b/w illustrated,170 x 240 mm. Photographs and design by Gert Motmans.

Nature … She creates eternally new forms

What is there has never been

What has been does not recur

Everything is new and yet always the same

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe-

Nature performs her dance. This dance resonates deeply within each of us, connecting our biological cycles and rhythms to those of nature. As the cycle of each day inches up, as we glance to the bigger world ever changing, we connect to something much larger than ourselves. Each day is different, whether we take the time to see this difference or not. We ignore subtle changes as we get busy with our life, work and family. If we do not see this infinite variety, seemingly, nature never changes. However, if we take the time to look closer, on a deeper level, we see nature’s changes moment-to-moment and day-to-day. 

Light and shadow are one “pattern which connects” us to nature. Light and shadow play a role in memory because they connect us to places and to cycles of time. We all have memories of scenes we have experienced. We recall places because our mind makes momentary associations based on how that place smells, how it sounds, how it feels, how it tastes and what we see. Vivid images flood back through these sounds, smells and variations of light and shadow from our past. Patterns through which we make a connection to that place may be the way the light flickers on the water and how the shadow heaves in addition to how still the air is, or perhaps how the breeze blows.

‘An ocean in between the waves’ - the book, ties together photographs shot on 35mm film from Motmans’ series going by the same name and collages created over the past few years portraying nature in different shapes and forms. The images invite us to stroll, wander, get lost or even disappear in them. They also express a desire for another world. A longing for familiarity and nostalgia, and at the same time they seem to embrace a threatening, futuristic vision. As if Marcel Proust glances at Henry David Thoreau while a young Brian Eno watches cheerfully and provides the scene with soft rustling sounds.

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