My work derives from the concept of material thinking, where the intuitive and experimental interaction with matter comes prior to linguistic thought. I’m interested in the transience of our natural world, and how we as human beings relate to, experience and perceive this - in a practical sense as physical entities who ourselves are part of this natural world and are submissive to a constant flux, and in a philosophical sense as a way of meaning making of the ever-changing world around us.
In the process of creation, I’m guided by the direction the material itself takes, and I see myself as the facilitator of and respondent to these processes, in which craftsmanship is an important aspect. By implementing photographic techniques, I can distance myself from the captured object, letting it reside in its inherent rhythm of growth and decay, while the photographic image or imprint is positioned as a trace of a fleeting moment. In using these techniques, I try to unravel its components such as light, time and movement, in order to research and question our perception of what is real and whether we can know the essence of the experienced phenomena. By using the aesthetics of these processes of movement, I attempt to create space for understanding and acceptance of what will disappear.
Simultaneously, I am interested in the way the interaction with matter - in this case the artwork - on the side of the viewer can contribute to the way we experience and understand our surroundings, as a form of embodied knowledge production. By not only using natural materials and transient processes in the creation of an image, but also in the (re)production of it, I try to create work that enters a new process, leaving the viewer responsible for the lifespan of the work, and aware of the impact of the environment it is exposed to. In doing so, I aim to emphasize the idea of connectivity and responsibility for our surroundings.
Tjitske Oosterholt (1991, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has moved from graphic design (BA) and artistic research (MA) into a more in-between state of creative practice, where she aims to combine both intuitive and experimental visual imagery mainly through the use of photographic techniques, with research on our experience and perception of and being in the world. With a growing desire to contribute to a more sustainable, circular and responsible approach to art practice, Tjitske’s interest in the transience of the natural world and our relationship to it is taking a centre stage in all creative explorations.
“I believe the power of art lies in its non-linguistic forms: in the way you can think with and through material by means of interactions, without using words. Therefore I focus on the use of my intuition rather than a previously outlined concept. By letting the material go its own way, I can discover new combinations and interesting textures, which guide me into further visual and theoretical explorations. As an artist, I think it’s very important to realize and admit that the material (be this the material I work with or everything that’s happening around me) is so much more in charge than myself. An artist is not a mastermind, it’s just someone who’s endlessly curious.”