Iemke van Dijk (* 1969)
Teacher at Leiden Academic Artcentre LAK since 2001
Co-founder IS projects, Leiden (December 2007)
Printmaking is my background. In the late ’80, I chose to do it because it fascinated me that you need to destroy something -for instance with acid in case of etching- in order to create something. Also, the result seems more a thing materialized in one go, rather than something being made.
I see embossed prints and etching -the things I was mostly interested in- both as forms of relief. Reliefs on a small scale. It seems a radical move to go from printmaking to relief but I wanted my work to become a part of the architecture. What then I thought, is better to make a work directly on a wall, rather than hanging it in front of it? So, in 1994 I made my first plaster relief in a wall.
The idea that a relief in a wall is a natural part of the environment instead of an add-on was an important thought to me, and keeping this in mind, it is not a big step to go from a relief in a wall to a drawing on a wall. It is still site- specific. But also with my wall drawings, I use techniques coming from my printmaking background, like the use of templates and masks but also rubbing ink and graphite with the hands, rather than using a brush or pencil. People familiar with the process of etching will understand immediately. With etching, a printmaker applies ink on a plate and rubs it firmly into the relief. Then, the redundant ink is being wiped off by hand.
The drawing at SNO (Sydney) is flat of course but works three dimensional in two ways. The inner white shape of the wall seems of higher luminance than the wall surrounding the drawing. Thus, the circle seems a thing in front of the wall and, the graphite looks like the shadow: a trompe l’oeil relief.