Art@Site Nick Ervinck Egnoaber Emmen

Nick Ervinck



The Belgian artist Nick Ervinck (1981) designed a seven meter high sculpture Egnoaber for the new central square 'Raadhuisplein' in the city Emmen, located in the north of the Netherlands.
The whimsical sculpture Egnoaber looks like a runaway tree, an odd skeleton or a death and abstract body, which has been recovered by the organic, fluid and vivid yellow texture.
It makes us think at the kienstobbe (a typical tree root for this region). Egnoaber refers to natural erosion processes and to the visual language of an artefact (the shiny and colourful varnish).
The sculpture is placed on top of a parking entrance building. By this the sculpture and the building add value to each other. The building becomes the pedestal of the sculpture while the sculptures makes the parking entrance more attractive.
For this sculpture, Ervinck was Inspired by both Eastern (Chinese rocks) and western (blob arecture) shapes. Following the newest designing processes, he builds upon the classic sculpting techniques as well.
What's more, Nick Ervinck intentionally plays with the organic language of Hans Arp and Henry Moore. Developing techniques and machines of his own, the artist tries to realise his virtual designs in the physical world.
I have always been fascinated by how art has developed due to new materials and techniques. Somewhat disappointed at contemporary sculpture and it's lack of renewal, I turned towards architecture, applied sciences and New Media, in order to elaborate a new language, and to compose forms and designs that were unthinkable in all those years before. My aim is to let architecture and sculpture meet, and to explore the realm of the impossible by constantly pushing the limits of what we call 'realistic'.
The studio takes a vanguard position in the field of digital technology (such as 3D technology and computational design methods). 3D prints the incredible advantage to produce almost any type of intricate geometry or ornament.
Moreover, my images balance on the edge of functionality, spatial interventions, digital aesthetics and object-oriented eclecticism. Using copy paste techniques in a 3D software environment, I derive images, shapes and textures from different sources: basilicas, corals, dinosaurs, cottages, Rorschach inkblots, Chinese rocks and trees, manga, twelfth-century floral wallpaper, fauna and flora, anatomical parts, ...
Simultaneously, my work holds numerous references to the tradition of sculpture, (such as the work of Hans Arp, Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth) and to architecture (think of Greg Lynn, who introduced the blob as an architectural constructive principle). Consequently, I am particularly interested in how the computer can be used in the realisation of new, organic and experimental (negative) spaces and sculptures within sculptures and how the tension between blobs and boxes is articulated during the digital designing process.
Egnoaber heet de zeven meter hoge sculptuur die Ervinck ontwierp voor Emmen, het fantasiewoord verwijst naar het Drentse begrip voor buren. De vorm van het beeld is geinspireerd op een kienstobbe, de grillige boomwortel die vroeger in de Drentse veenbodem kon worden aangetroffen. Het materiaal is hypermodern: pur bekleed met verschillende lagen polyester en glasvezel.
Egnoaber is zijn eerste permanente, monumentale sculptuur in Nederland. In Emmen stuitte hij op 'specifieke problemen waar je als kunstenaar mee moet omgaan'. - Het budget natuurlijk, de verplaatsing van de zoo. Maar vooral de vraag hoe je dynamiek krijgt op zo'n plein. Het is zo mooi ontworpen dat het moeilijk was een goede locatie te vinden. Gelukkig was er het parkinggebouwtje dat ik als gratis sokkel kon gebruiken. Zo kon ik mijn beeld armruimte geven.
Wie gewend is aan de beelden van Bert Kiewiet, Homme Veenema en Willem Kind, moet wellicht wennen aan de abstracte sculptuu wil niet iets figuratiefs doen, daar heb je fotografie voor en de beelden in het museum van MadameTussaud', zegt Ervinck. 'Toch wil ook ik een beeld dat is geworteld in het verleden. Als kind van mijn tijd probeer ik iets aan de traditie toe te voegen.