From an early age Jan Koen Lomans has been fascinated by the various stages of nature, such as birth, rebirth, transition and transience. He depicts this theme in a range of ways, by making it tangible in installations, where often textile is the chosen medium to create the desired result.
This is how in the Nocturne series he captures the period between sleeping and waking and the transience and wilting of amaryllis or lilies in various stages of dying, as if he has lifted the abstracted nature from a Vanitas painting.
Elegantly wilting flowers are given eternal life here in a unique blue tapestry of 2.30 by 1.60 meters, which virtually no longer looks like textile. In each tapestry five layers of mohair are worked into one blue polyester thread which lets the floral lines light up in any shimmer. Nocturne submerges the visitor in a tranquilizing midnight blue dream.
In order to transform ideas into artwork, research and collaboration with craftsmen, artists and scientists are crucial to the artist. The organic investigation often leads Lomans to new production techniques. His curious interest in synchronicity, the meaning of coincidence, is expressed in this. Merely a part of the process is controlled, the rest remains uncertain. Coincidence he sees as a surprising adventure; it always results in something unexpected.
Transitory Landscape, his double sided, tufted installation in collaboration with the TextielLab is an excellent example of this. The same applies to the intriguing Cosmic Garden by Lomans and artist Marc Mulders, exhibited at the Kazerne during the Dutch Design Week 2016. The Mandala style installation depicts the cosmic cycle and is constructed from stained glass by Mulders and round glass objects by Lomans, where he fuses glass and textiles. The extraordinary outcome, to which Lomans dedicated a year and a half of research, is reminiscent of cosmic galaxies and planets.
This method is controllable for eighty per cent, leaving the rest up to fate.
Lomans does something nobody else in The Netherlands does. For the series Mindful Cloud he worked with an enormous laser machine, the GraphixScan 1800 from the University of Wales, enabling him to create ‘melting structures’ with very large surfaces. His drawings of floral close-ups are scanned first and then developed into a vector file. The laser burns into the polyester fabrics at high speed with a destructive force, layer upon layer. The melting fabric, with surprisingly organic structures, is like a new skin and results in a layered and almost fragile piece of art, a mesh as delicate as a spider’s web.
Text and interview: Viveka van de vliet
Translation: Lee Rammelt