Sculptor ,Stonecarver, Art Philosopher, Art History
Welcome to the website of Mark Rietmeijer!
In practising the visual arts I am a self-taught stonecutter. And from the very beginning I understood that there are no helpful gnomes or goblins in my studio. All that actually happens there is what I myself bring about in the stone. And for more than thirty years now it has been happening over and over again: the moment I realise that in fact I do not need any gnomes at all! For all of a sudden there is this intense experience of falling together with the stone. I become the space the stone offers to me. I become the plane that I make visible, I become the line I form, I become the cavity that I carve out, I become the gesture that I want to create in the stone, I become the direction I want to define in the form, I become the play of inner and outer lines and planes, I become the alternation of closed and transparent form, briefly said: I become the journey from amorphous mass to the final sculpture, ultimately put into the light.
Meanwhile such a journey takes more than one or two years and not until the sculpture itself tells me I am finished I stop carving. I put aside my hammer and chisel, after which follows a period of mechanical grinding and finally sanding and polishing by hand. In the past thirty years I never found myself completely satisfied with the result. For as a stonecutter I know by now that initially I have one hundred percent of freedom in choice, but from a certain point I also have to carry out what the new form starts to ask for all by itself.
The entire process of the realization of a sculpture in stone consists of making choices one after the other. This kind of deciding however is inevitably definitive. And not until I feel an acceptable congruence with all my operations in the stone and have come to an agreement with all possible de- and connotations, notions and notes regarding material, form, perception and the production of meaning, only then I know that this voyage too has come to an end.
I did not leave my studio but again I travelled like never before! For in many places in the world I can be and exist, but only in my studio and in my sculptings I can take place and happen. Only in sculpting I can have the experience that what I do may fall together with what I imagine. Only there and then I witness myself being totally wrapped up, dissolving and getting lost in my imaginative faculties. I surrender to and identify myself completely with what I want, putting all my energy at its service, in order to represent my believes, hopes, desires and love. Only in my sculpture I become one with what I want to make happen here, in this one and only, once and unique place, in this stone. And every time I realise that I am the one who is becoming, happening and taking place. Everywhere in the world I can keep my eyes wide open and put my ear to the ground, I can feel astonished and ask for the road, open up to the world around me, pocket the gains and bear the charges and so on. But nowhere in this whole wide world there is a place like in my studio and in my sculpture, where I take all the resistance the fine arts offer for granted. And month after month I am staring from every angle to my new work in progress, just to distinguish the general and absolutely essential form, which gives the one and only reply to my desire: this is how I want it to be!
After which it is time to buy a new piece of marble.
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