Nature always wins, an exhibition by Jouke Schwarz & Erik Hudson. October 10, 2015

Nature always wins is an exhibition inspired by the deterioration of urban and natural landscapes with time, their powerful joint show comes packed with energy! Nature takes over man-made as rationality succumbs to instinct.

Artists Jouke Schwarz (Gerrit Rietveld Akademie, Amsterdam) and Erik Hudson (University of Wales Institute Cardiff, England) present a series of paintings and sculptures that contain a mix of various abstract styles, conceptual and street art. The exhibition is on display until November 21.

Jouke Schwarz:
To me painting is very intuitive, it flows or it struggles, but it’s never too thought out.
Most of my work is based on landscapes, often extreme situations when nature shows it’s power.
I’m interested in the fact that so many actions occur at a given moment and I try to put that on the canvas.
It ends up being more than just a snapshot in time, but a succession of events and emotions conveyed in one painting. There are recurring figures in my paintings, like the sun or the stars, represented sometimes by shape and other times by color. These symbols can be seen as pillars that remain standing throughout our existence.
There is also an underlined subject of nostalgia in my work, the passing of time and the traces left behind by it.


Erik Hudson:
For the title of the show Nature always wins, I had several ideas regarding my approach towards the concept:
1. Human nature regarding habits and addiction, control over ones actions and thoughts, socialism and capitalism. The idea that we are all slaves to society capitalism and in effect, our own minds within that system, a system of thought and behavior that has only one unavoidable outcome.
Destruction! Then rebirth. There is no avoiding the cycle, build-destroy-rebuild.
So despite our best efforts you can’t avoid the laws of nature.
2. Nature always wins against everything else.
This is more a literal subject, so I have concrete sculptures that have rusted wire flowers growing out from them.
This represents nature’s ability to thrive even after we destroy everything.
It is about the frailty of human beings and how nature is the stronger entity.

I see the two subtopics as one, they are connected. Our nature to consume build and destroy will ultimately be our destruction either by our man made weapons or by the natural weapons of earth, from natural disasters or natural disasters caused from mans actions.
In the end Nature is the only survivor and ultimately the winner.

As for my techniques and subject material for my artworks, i.e. – symbols, shapes, words and numbers.
I will try to explain.
I use words and numbers from events and people and places from my life, events that had meaning to the subject of the work. For e.g., reference to places, where I grew up. I also use people and events from conspiracy theory documentaries. My information comes from philosophy books regarding human nature.

Many things that I write or paint have several meanings for example S.O.S, which I use, frequently in my artworks. SOS is the international distress signal, but i actually write it as 505 which is a time 5:05pm/am. Its also a reference to a song by the Arctic Monkeys, with the lyrics “I’m going back to 505” which means the thing which is simultaneously keeping you alive and killing you. Its also reference to the number of a bus, which has meaning to a place where i lived, etc. And it goes on like this for all the things i write on my canvases. And my painting technique is paint-remove-paint-remove until the idea/image is created.