Visual art

Peat is not only a rawmaterial for energy and horticulture. Peat is used of artists all over the world. Here are some examples and more will come:

 

Latvia

Peat, Art and Students

As usual, Commission VIII (Peat and Culture) was also present with activities at the International Peat Technology Conference Congress in Riga in last August. Apart from presentations and discussions a new activity was started. Six students from various departments of the Art Academy of Latvia were invited to participate in a 6 day course of working with peat instead of paper, stone, metal, etc. Of course peat as an art medium is not new, but for the students it certainly was. The first day presented the students an introduction into peat and peatlands as a natural habitat and economic resource, and then a field tour to a peat harvesting company. Thereafter a 5-day course in the techniques of working with peat and the creation of art objects. It produced very different and surprizing pieces, see below. 

Three sponsors, Bol Peat BV, Intervema and Klasmann-Deilmann, allowed Edgars Ameriks, Margriet Lestraden, Ilze Ozola and Ausma Šmite (alphabetically) to start this adventure. Ilze (Latvian Peat Producers Association, organizer and hostess of the congress) together with Edgars (professional peat artist) organized the first day. Then the students went to the Purvītis House, deep in the inlands of Latvia. Here Latvia’s most famous painter Vilhelms Purvītis (1872-1944) was born and lived and worked for many years. Many of his paintings depict swamps and bogs (even his name means “little mire”). Google with “pictures” his name for an impressive overview of his work. Margriet, a Dutch art expert and museum director, bought the house in 1998, restored it and made it into a centre of cultural and social activities (see http://www.purvitishouse.com). The students, who were invited to the course by Ausma, a staff member of the Art Academy of Latvia, created under the guidance of Margriet beautiful and clever proofs that peat is more than just brown and wet soil. Margriet: “… they were extremely inspired, motivated and concentrated!”.

All this happened in the week before the congress started, so its participants could visit the permanent peat art gallery of Edgars work (http://www.saatchiart.com/edgarsameriks), next to which the new pieces were exhibited, again organized by Ilze, Ausma and Edgars. Visitors (among them the Dutch ambassador in Latvia) and certainly the students themselves were surprised of what can be done with peat, some of them said to continue using it as a substrate. In return to their generosity the sponsors could choose one or two items. Surely the students will be happy to sell the remaining objects!

In 2015 in Tullamore, Ireland, the next annual congress will be held. The possibility to have an international group of art students working similarly just before this congress is being studied.

 E.Ameriks, M.Lestraden, I.Ozola, A.Šmite, A.J.Schilstra.


See more pictures in a pdf-file!

 

Peat for abstract visions - Edgars Ameriks

About Edgars Ameriks
Born june 11, 1982 in Latvia (EU). Product design, having studied at the Latvian Art Academy and sculpture at the Collage of Arts. With long experience in peat processing I found a new ways how toproduce peat material for usage creating the artworks. I work a long time with peat materials and my artworks is the way how to pass my abstract visions. 

Edgars Ameriks e.ameriks@icloud.com

 

The Netherlands

PeatArt by Dioni
"Peat life is colourful. It is a beutiful, natural product that has very interesting different ways. It is a pure product that has nothing else in it than just nature. The nature brings its beauty. Over the years people found out that it has curative properties. Nowadays when persons want to stay young they like to enjoy peat mud baths; the acid cleans their skin. For many centuries animals have been living on peat in their stables without any problems to their feet. Bog bodies have been successfully mummified. Centuries after a person sank into a peat bog every bone, hair, tooth or wrinkle in the skin can be found again.

While walking in the Soosaare bog area in central Estonia the artist came to an idea to create the people of Soosaare as they sank into this beautiful nature centuries ago. This was the start of the forgotten people of Soosaare."

Peatart is a joint initiative between the artist, Dioni ten Busschen and the company Sphagnum Products B.V. in the middle of 2010.

The story of the forgotten people of Soosaare
"In the summer of 2010 I walked for the first time in a bog. The colours, the deafening silence and the air. So beautiful! But also the risk and the fright to sink into it. And at that moment you start thinking about the people that came to the end of their lives. We find them nowadays as bog bodies and peculiar is that after many centuries they are beautifully mummified in a dark brown colour. Their skin is sound and every line in their bodies can be seen. Those people must have met themselves in the last minutes of their lives, during their probably slow struggle to death. No more future, material things that were acquired in the past do not count anymore. It is only the present moment and the experience from the past that counts. You are confronted with yourself, you can be honest as you are the only one to whom you are accountable. And who are you at that moment? Does it make any difference how you have lived your life while experiencing the last moments of it?

This is how the idea was born to create the people that experienced this moment all together but all in their own way. All these people sank into the Soosaare bog near the village of Kolga-Jaani in Estonia on 24th August 79 AD while approximately 3000 km down South the volcano Vesuvius erupted. When there is an eruption somewhere there must be an implosion in a different place to compensate it. All these bog bodies that have been found experienced this moment in their own way and with their own emotions. This is exactly the moment that has been fixed in their mummified bodies. These bodies are made of real peat and therefore they have exactly the same colour as the real bog bodies. Peat consists of the dead roots of the sphagnum plant which is thousands of years old. In this concept it is the symbol for the search towards your own roots. This was the start of the forgotten people of Soosaare."

Dioni

More information: www.peatart.com

 

Cookie Boards
A Cookie Board (12x42 cm, Dutch 18th century, private collection) depicting (top) a worker putting a basket of peat bricks on his shoulders; bottom carving presents a jester. The light comes from North-West!

More Cookie Boards

 

Latvia

Peat for abstract visions - Edgars Ameriks

About Edgars Ameriks
Born june 11, 1982 in Latvia (EU). Product design, having studied at the Latvian Art Academy and sculpture at the Collage of Arts. With long experience in peat processing I found a new ways how toproduce peat material for usage creating the artworks. I work a long time with peat materials and my artworks is the way how to pass my abstract visions.
Edgars Ameriks e.ameriks@icloud.com