In the last ten years of my art career the main theme was transience. From my fascination for the loss of what once was, I search for an imaginative way that shows the inevitable loss of it.
What may have caused the demise remains unclear in my artwork. There is not a specific reference to a source from the reality that surrounds us. The material and the methods which are used have their own input which both contribute to a noticeable transience.
With their possible associations my images sometimes evoke disgust. At the same time, they are fascinating in their aesthetics. These seemingly contradictory emotions are in perfect harmony. My ambition is always to let this paradox be present in my work and to investigate the limits of what is possible. To keep the experience of the paradox as open as possible, my work consists only titles that refer to the object itself.
The choice of the material clay gives me the opportunity to work with both the temporal and the seemingly timelessness. Fresh clay is cold, wet, heavy and thereby quickly to form in any imaginable way. However, the material also features aspects that counteract the imagination, because it dries, shrinks, deforms and ruptures. In unbaked state the clay statue is as vulnerable as our feelings and therefor seems to have living characteristics. However, once the clay is baked the same image seems indestructible, because after it became stone, in a million years it will become clay again. The temporal and timelessness is unified in one material.
Clay gives me the ability to both shock and please the viewer. I use both aspects to simultaneously confront the viewer with the experience that nothing is what it seems. It is the imagination.
The addition of synthetic material to the clay statues is a recent development. By covering the statues with synthetic the images they seem to exist in a seemingly closed world. A world where they seem protected, but at the same time imprisoned. Clay and synthetic react on each other which sometimes literally causes violent explosions. It seems like the necessary force comes out of the image, but sometimes also from the synthetic material. Both seem to be reaching for each other’s destruction, but at the same time keep each other alive.
Besides working as an artist Toon Tullemans works as an art historian. His education: Art Academy of Tilburg, finished Cum Laude in 1985. His specialisation: Spatial and ceramic forming. He later specialised in digital design, photography and painting.