The works of Pieter W. Postma.
Stories to be told: broadly speaking Pieter W. Postma is a visual artist, but first and foremost he's a gifted storyteller.
The stories he weaves reach out into other worlds beyond that of ours. Parallel universes, essentially, each populated by surreal phenomena. Out there new explorers discover each other, and, in the process, our universe. For their journeys they make use of brightly coloured vehicles and vessels, sometimes even leaving behind traces in this world.
Postma shows us such individual artefacts in a modern-day cabinet of curiosities, be it a trophy, a misplaced glove, a mask or even a crashed vehicle. On other occasions he recreates entire scenes, displayed like a diorama. For example, a mysterious character clad in a mint green uniform, hanging from the door of his vessel as he is testing the surface for stability to walk on. Or the masked figure known as 'De Zweeper' [The Whipper], with some 50 black horses – each the size of a cat – coaxed into pulling his vessel across the slopes.
These works typically evoke a sort of amazement. It's reminiscent of the awe experienced in the very first film theatres; like a young child confronted with a bright, Technicolor world that's just come to life; or like stepping into a fantastical book for boys. A genuine ode to wonder.
As he creates these images and installations Postma combines both hard and soft materials. The surreal transport ships are mainly built with wood, polyester and metals. The figures, space travellers and other creatures, their clothing and masks are created from cloth, rubber and pleather. In his own words, Postma is now pretty handy with a needle and thread.
And that's the artist. Whenever Postma unleashes his huge imagination, worlds of new creatures come to life in his hands. Parts of his elaborate productions are fully polished and carefully calculated to the smallest of details, like a true virtuoso. Other elements remain as sketches, leaving loose ends for the viewer. Such contradictions of finesse and the unfinished actually serve to give these installations a more focused depth. The sketched concepts hold the viewer at a distance, enabling them to see the work as a whole, while the intricate details are irresistibly tempting, perpetually pulling the gaze of the viewer deeper and deeper.
Undoubtedly Postma has fun when reconstructing these spectacles. His work seems to communicate that imagination and creativity are two of the finest qualities of people – in this, and probably other universes. And the fun is contagious. While the scenarios are bizarre, surreal and utterly out of this world, you can't help but believe in them.