The entire body of work is created by following game rules as a working grid. Every series can therefore be seen as a different game. Every work within the series is a game within a game. Inside these structures that might seem rigid, meditation can be found.
80’s series (2015-2017) – drawing
In this series, I write 80 according to game rules I have set for myself before starting, to achieve a pattern in which the game rules are noticeable and the human hand is detectable. These drawings are based on repetitions and under the influence of the symbiosis of the body and mind. They became like fragmented diaries to me. For the viewer, it is clear that there is a personal underlining in the work, even though this is not explicit or explicitly added, but more or less an undertone of the human behind works that seem to be mainly abstract at first. When I work, I try to achieve an automatic handwriting that forms a different rhythm every time. The sets of game rules in combination with repetition, create a meditative state in the making process. In this series, I work with black Indian ink on white paper, because any other color would already give too many associations that are irrelevant. What I communicate is not an object or landscape or anything the viewer might already know. I try to direct the viewer’s thoughts as little as possible because I would like to create a space and time in which nobody tells you what to do, think or feel. Nowadays there is an overload of images and texts around us, that influence us as
individuals and as a collective. In my work, I want to give myself and the viewer space to enter otium. 80 in my perception is a lot more infinite than 8, based on the handwriting taught to Dutch schoolchildren.
My work drastically changed after having had a sepsis in January 2018. However, the search for compositions by following rules continues in the two new series ‘This is not art, it’s pressing a button’ and ‘This is not art, it’s therapy’. The statement that ‘this is not art’ was initially made because I felt that I wasn’t an artist if I didn’t draw. Drawing and the patience that came with it defined me as an artist and without it, I felt incomplete. I decided to carry this thought proudly as a title because it is about personal identification and it starts the question of what art is or should be. Some read it like a provocation and it
opened discussions, something that pleases me. Looking back, I might as well call the 80’s series ‘This is not art, it’s meditation’, but it is good to keep the turning point clear.
This is not art, it’s pressing a button (2018-ongoing) – photography
The only way to keep on creating image and look for compositions was by using a photo camera. With minimal effort, one can capture lines and color blocks. During my mandatory half an hour walks to recover from the sepsis, my camera came with me and the hunt was on. I already knew exactly what I was looking for, I just had to find it. This became a series, named after a comment made by a person I admire and like very much. The concept of pressing a button being art is an intriguing one to me. I don’t create, I only capture. Very literally I only press a button to make. But the search before pressing and the selection process after are done with a high level of concentration, making the final work as time absorbing as a previous drawing. Once found and captured, I share the image on social media to feed the world images that are always different, but come from the same repeating visual language. The goal is to show what’s up while looking down and to create captures that could be found anywhere by anybody and to share them frequently enough so that the audience comes across images on the street that I didn’t capture yet. They will encounter Gryanne photo moments and places. And when they do, they will see the world in lines and color blocks, satellite viewing away by me zooming in, distracted from whatever else was going on a second before, detaching from meaning for a glimpse of time and in that way create space for inner architecture. The hunt is ongoing. This does not make me a photographer.
This is not art, it’s therapy (2018-ongoing) – mixed media
The starting point for each work in this series is a photo sent to me by WhatsApp or an old photo found somewhere in my digital archive. All of these images show something personal and usually, they are related to the pain of absence. I modify the images in an app on the IPad, making it a game to just see these pictures as a composition, again looking for lines and color blocks. This is in line with the wish to create distance from emotional responses by simply focusing on the present elements that make up an image. Furthermore, receiving photos on the phone is a strange phenomenon to itself. Someone stepped out of the moment to create distance to take a photo, concentrated on sending that photo and was in that way not a true part of what was being photographed. The
one on the other end, the receiver, was entangled in another moment and got snapped out of that one to be thrown into a moment somewhere else belonging to another without ever being able to take part in it because the moment is gone when the message is received. The impact of the received material, however, can have a longer-lasting effect on the receiver than on the sender. There is no need to explain what the original photo is about; the hint that it is something related to my personal life is enough for the viewer, in combination with this playful way of layering compositional additions over the
photos. These new creations are printed on canvas. The photos were never made to be printed in this way. Their quality proves that. Most printing companies don’t print such a low-resolution image, but the HEMA in the Netherlands does. I have them printed as squares, which is a reflection on how our way of looking at composition changed with the use of for example Instagram. When I was still on art academy I was told that painting on a square canvas is compositionally more challenging. However, we got more and more used to seeing square compositions over time and many of us create them on a daily base. My aunt picks the photos up when they are ready and when I go to visit her, or when she comes to visit me, I receive them. The oil paint is chosen to match the IPad drawing program perfectly and I lay the last hand on them by painting the overlaying composition. The value of art is being challenged in the choice of material, as oil painting is considered more valuable than a print. This does not make me a painter.
I’m in an ongoing process of creating video essays with the same title that are uploaded on YouTube. The title ‘This is not art, it’s therapy’ is chosen because of the more personal side of these works and because I consider living in general to be therapy. Every emotional response is a physical reaction that is tried to be understood, explained and sometimes put into words. Some responses are excepted, some are not. This depends on the collective you take part in. Your personal boundaries change and so do the boundaries of the other(s). There is a constant recalibration in between what is happening inside of you and how you express and value this, and whoever receives this information. In every aspect of life, this is the case. In art, it is more obvious and art gives us the
playroom to openly discuss these things. But most importantly, I consider the making of art of vital necessity and very healing. This does not make me a patient.
By nature, I am very engaged with the world and what happened, happens and what might happen in it. It is a political choice to focus on the inner world.