What was your reason for creating works of art in copper?
‘I studied sculpting and ceramics. I also studied graphics at the same time and particularly enjoyed drawing at the academy. I tried to combine those graphic and sculptural dimensions from the end of the ninteeneightees. I used to paint copper plates, for example, which you would normally use to create engravings or etchings. You’re also working with reversal, mirroring, positive and negative in that printing process: the common thread in the works I created at a later stage.’
You exhibited these copper letters in a gallery for the first time in 1987. Were you aware at the time that this would be the new turn in you work?
‘No, not at all. I barely had the courage to show off those first copper letters when my gallerist saw them in my studio. He was instantly incredibly enthusiastic. I used two initial copper works to fold my own quotes and even ones by art historian Ernst Gombrich: ‘When we know what to expect, we don’t have to look anymore.’ Very apt, as my work is all about looking, reading and allowing the unexpected. I also processed words in figurative copper sculptures at a later stage: I used strips of copper to create the outline of a vase, a referral to the brain like a ‘vase of memories’. These memories can also serve as a type of imprint of reality. And this imprint is subsequently linked to copper as a material.’