Balsa, 2012

Balsa wood
522 x 511 cm

Balsa is a 5,22 x 5,11 metre circular wood structure made specifically for one of the rooms at Galerie Van der Mieden in its Antwerp former space. The sculpture, made out of 400 units of balsa wood planks coloured with black charcoal and assembled to conform an oval structure from wall to wall, is slightly reminiscent of a ship´s hull, lacking though the strength of a real ship construction, as the material employed, is very fragile. The conception of this piece comes from a fascination with traditional wood construction methods used in shipbuilding and from an early obsession to build a large circle within a real square space. The experience, iconography and literature around sea culture and big expeditions is a vivid reference in the artist’s work, not so much distinguishable with recognisable motifs, but somehow more imbued with the concept of fernweh or wanderlust, “an ache for the distance”, the impulse to wander or travel faraway.