Daan Bruijel is a printmaker whose images are inspired by the landscape and the marks left on it by human existence and the emotional and psychological significance of these marks. “To me the landscapes I explore tell a story of the past, a history full of people.”
Read an interview with this artist here:
How did you begin your career as an artist?
As a kid I was always interested in drawing. I started by doing some courses in printmaking and painting at a local art centre. After high school I went to Art College in the Netherlands after that I did a Dip in Belfast. I have always had the ‘need’ to create and express. So when I did my art courses at the local art centre there was an artist who took me to shows and gallery openings which I all found very exciting. This really pushed me on to go to Art College.
What kinds of challenges do you face in this profession?
The way I see it there are two types of challenges. One artistic and the other practical. The biggest one at first was how am I going to have an income, not only to live but also to do my work. How do I continue to work as an artist when I’m making a living? How to find places to exhibit my work? And how do I promote myself? From an artistic point, the recurring question is whether my work is good enough. How do I keep my work fresh?, how can I make it better?
What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of making art as a profession?
To go and talk to as many people as they can in this field before they go into it. To be absolutely certain that they are making this choice in positive sense, that they really want to do this. That they need to be flexible and creative in their career. To make them aware that they will more than likely have to do other work to supplement their income and the importance of networking. They will not only have to have good skills and ideas they will also have to find ways to get those projects out there.
At what point in your career did you make the work in The Louth County Collection?
Plough is quite a pivotal piece. It was one of the first works I did after doing a photo-intaglio course at Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor. From that time on I have kept on using photography in combination with other techniques.
Is the plough in question an actual or metaphorical plough?
I actually had found this plough in a field near where I lived at the time. I have used the idea of boundaries/ hedges/fences a lot in my work and so the idea of moving from one world to another etc. is a metaphorical one, so both.
Would you change the work?
I do still like it however, I think now I would want to make the image of the plough stronger and add some text to it.
What are you working on at the moment?
I now live in France where I’ve built my own studio. My most recent work is done in Photoshop on the computer. I use photographs from my collection and add to them with drawings and pieces of prose. Some of the pictures are from my time in Ireland, some are more recent. The prose is written in reaction to the images but sometimes as a starting point. The aim is to make the prose and image work together, not one as an illustration to the other. I have also made dry needle point with photo intaglio and collages on paper.
Find out more about this artist here: www.bruijel.com