Pieter Vanden Broecke (°1981, B) is a graphic artist. His still young oeuvre is completely constructed around the intimate relation with marker, pen, needle and paper background of the black-and-white picture that results from all of this. The landscape is his source of inspiration. The physical experience of nature is of the utmost importance.
The landscapes are clearly recognisable in his earlier drawings and sketches : the line of the horizon and the suggestion of the unlimited dominate the picture. In other works, an element of nature takes a central position : a sunflower, a tree, a branch. It is clear that Vanden Broecke is an artist who goes into nature, who documents the experience of being outdoor in that nature that he physically encounters, by taking pictures and by sketching, by making notes. For the artist, it is more a process of asceticism than acquisition. In the protected environment of the studio, those notes are scratched into varnish on a copper or zinc plate, after nature. Afterwards, the plate is treated in a crafty manner until the image reveals itself after a labour-intensive printing process. It is a development that goes from the periphery to the centre. An evolution of unravelling and disposing, of developing and revealing. During the process of the registering and the sensing of the representation of the infinite of the landscape inside the limitation of the paper and the outlining, a conflict occurs : there is no real connection between the beginning and the end. It is like a airplane travel : outside the plane, an enormous mass of energy builds up. The passengers are not aware of this. Their notion of space and time is in no relation to the reality outside the plane. Inside the plane, nothing happens, one waits until the destination is reached. In his recent works, the landscape is reduced to an abstract texture or should we rather say that the landscape is now being developed to its essence. The appearance is peeled off and the core glows in a balance of order and chaos.
The model for Vanden Broecke’s etchings is nature. Nature is a familiar environment for him, where he finds the time and quietness to focus on the landscape that stretches out in front of him. His landscapes grow and ‘develop’ from what is initially a representation, into a highly individual interpretation.
The fact that the technique, the etching plate and the paper are limited, acts as a stimulus to circumventing them. How can a horizon with neither a beginning nor end, nevertheless be transferred to paper? For the artist it is a quest, a journey that gradually takes the form of a transformation of the horizontal line into an image where the horizon is barely discernible.