In my profession as an artist I think in art we also have a responsibility,
we have the responsibility to make visible what is invisible,
we have the responsibility to record what should not be forgotten,
we have the responsibility to speak up for those who cannot,
we have the responsibility to create awareness,
Art and urban landscaping
Weerdinge the Netherlands
5 years after the realisation and just two kilometers west - northwest from one of the most important
land-art works world wide (Broken circle spiral hill - Robert Smithson 1971),
It was on a quiet and sunny September day that a child was born, no wise men from the east or three kings, just his mom giving birth and his dad and sister around.
Johannes-Harm Hovinga, Weerdinge, September 20-1976
No one could imagine yet that that the work of Robert Smithson would influence his life years and years later.
LETS PRESS FAST FORWARD, 2012, it wasn’t that sunny anymore
Death looked like the sunniest place in paradise.
A little black spot slowly growing in years, managing my life around it.
It was 2012, after 10 years of running a business in garden and landscaping, I made a choice, a choice to give up everything I ever known.
I chose for a life in art, what was I thinking…
My choice for a life in art was inspired by my yought where I was fascinated by the work of Robert Smithson / Broken circle - spiral hill, in the nineties it made me for the first time aware of the influence we have as a human on our environment, made me aware how the landscapes in the Netherlands are designed, planned, manmade, it made me more curious in life.
My other inspiration where words in neon letters at Eindhoven train station.
“Conventie, een soort herinnering, is het grootste beletsel om te genieten van het leven en kunst”.
“Convention, a kind of memory, is the greatest hindrance to enjoying life and art. @ Piet Mondiaan
Standing there for over 15 minutes, reading it over and over again.
words that echoed in my head since that day in the late nineties.
2012, my first steps in the art world, I really didn't know what I was getting into..
2012 FRAGMENTED SOCIETY 1
Where it all started in 2012, 110m2, Emmen the Netherlands.
2013 FRAGMENTED SOCIETY 2
Fragmented society 2
In the end of 2012 the organisation of the Elephant parade in Trier Germany contacted me to be part of this outdoor exhibition and auction in Trier Germany in 2013 to raise awareness for need of elephant welfare and conservation,
For this I made this work based on Fragmented society 1.
The orange shoaling fishes on the elephant are representing the people in our society who are very well connected trough social media by facebook, twitter, instagram, but at the same time more divided than ever and alone in our fragmented society.
Fast forward again, 2021
Really what was I thinking..
After years of experimenting, traveling, making mistakes, being homeless for a while, hurting people, making bigger mistakes climbing up and faling down, faling again, harder and deeper, learning what love means, managing darkness, my depression and not my life around it, learning about life, and one last push off the cliff of the familiar to get up (covid 19).
I learned accepting my self in being me, where I’m not a saint and not perfect at all. and you know what? That’s completely okay, where I’m happy that death isn’t that sunny place anymore where I have been longing for.
No mask, no pseudoniem, just me; Johannes-Harm Hovinga, with my not so fancy name at all in the art world, with all my imperfections in our fragmented society.
In art I changed,
My perspective on the world changed,
My curiosity for and about life, the way in which I live and the choices I make and i've made, lead sometimes to admiration, and at the same time to envy or even dislike from others. This dialectic works as an inspiration for me to explore, question society trough curiosity, by provoking, to disturb, to inspire, and be connective in the search for new answers. Where we have the responsibility to make visible what is invisible, the responsibility to record what should not be forgotten, the responsibility to speak up for those who cannot, the responsibility to create awareness,
45 Ctrl+Alt+Del, a soft restart, starting all over again with all the knowledge and experience I've gained so far