Display, 2009

Display, 2009, digital video, looped. 1:00 min., no sound

My new video, based on traditional landscape paintings. It also shows my painted-over farmhouse model.

Some while ago, I
was caught by a romantic landscape painting, which represented a watermill in a picturesque scenery...Because I had just started to work with the digital 3D creation program Blender 3D, I thought it would be a nice idea to re-create a traditional landscape painting: In a digital form, but with using painted parts.

I decided to realize a part of this idea by making a model, typical for the landscape were I'm from: Noord-Brabant. So for a starting point, I took an old “kortgevelboerderij” (farmhouse with a short front: characteristic for this part of The Netherlands). In Blender 3D, I made a simple digital model of it, inspired by traditional landscape paintings. On this model, I put textures, all cut out from pictures of different paintings. This process of 3D-modelling resulted in several ‘rendered’ images.
These images of the digital model were used as sketches, and translated into a real-life model in wood (Thx MU project-team!). The dimensions of it, are about 110 x 120 x 100 (h x l x w) in cm's.
The next step was to paint the model, first with universal primer, and then with acrylic paint plus a 'thickening' medium. Because I also wanted to scale up the brushstrokes, I spent at least 15 liters of this thick paint, applied with big brushes.

(See picture, and June 18th post: Hier & Daar exhibition, MU, Eindhoven and Kop Foundation, Breda).

Boerderij, 2009, 110 x 120 x 100 cm. Acrylic paint on wood/ MDF
@ MU, Eindhoven

The photos I made, of my finished, painted farmhouse, I put back on the original digital farmhouse model, in Blender 3D. The rest of the Romantic scenery was also built in Blender, by using different images of paintings I found online. By doing so, I completed my ‘painting’.

Blender 3D is also ideal for making animations and interactive applications. So I showed the different elements in the painting, as single objects. These objects are displayed in a rotating manner, as in a showroom, or on a (market-) stand: The objects slowly rotate 360 degrees, and turn the other way around, into their old position. The video is looped with the intention of being an film equivalent of a painting, which is always a still representation: There’s only one camera position, no start or end.
Also, there’s no sound in the video, the choice to do that, is a conscious one, I didn’t want to add too much ‘effect’ to it. The total silence is strong and present in its own way.

Michiel van der Zanden, 2009

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