community through art.
Art can broadly vary in definitions depending on the relationship of the individual discussing it. To Dirk van Wyk, creator under various mediums, art represents a deeper meaning than to most.
“I mistrust the word art,” said Dirk.
“I believe that art is not a noun, but a qualifier.
“Art is owned by each person and so what they call art is art to them.
“I think we have lost a standard which was art, which was a cultural value that people attained to, or recognized and applauded. I think this has fallen apart, or disappeared.
(to view more of this artist's work, click the image)
“In a way it is much more democratic now. So somebody will call something art, and that’s their opinion.”
In coordination with these views, Dirk is reluctant to call himself an artist or the work he creates as art. To the observer, however, Dirk cultivates a very special and, at times, unexpected emotional response that is spectacularly unique.
Using a combination of paper, drawing, stitching, book binding, and many other techniques, Dirk’s pieces are a world unto themselves.
“To me [art] just means something that knocks my socks off. Mostly visually, or in terms of music, or a wonderful meal. It is a high level of sensual experience, that is art.
“It has to be man made rather than a sunset or a landscape. We don't call that art.
“It is man made, it has a very high resonance with what I am, what I feel. That is art to me. Then the question is, how do I make that.”
To those who resonate with his work, he achieves that sense of sensual experience.
“I make what I think I can get away with. In my mind it is always a problem solving thing - I enjoy all of the problem solving parts of it. Sometimes I get away with it, and sometimes I don’t.”
Dirk’s studio is full of more than just his own art supplies, it is also full of collections from travel to the middle east. Incredibly old paper artifacts, intricately woven materials, and ornately beaded clothing - it is no wonder his standard for art is on a different wavelength than many.
“I think of what I do - what I do has the tendency to be a question rather than an answer.
“I think a lot of people want art to be an answer, and I am way off in left field making questions. I really like it when someone says they are intrigued by what I do, because for me that is all I desire from it.
“Is to try to get someone to look into and to get something out of it. This is where I don't think words really exist. They don't describe this relationship. It is like finding something that reflects, or mirrors or resonates with your own values.”
Dirk currently displays his work with Bluerock Gallery and the Alberta Craft Council
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