Art prints of this project currently available here!
For as long as I lived in my parental house, and for as long as I can remember, my bed was placed parallel along the wall, in the furthest corner from the bedroom door and closest to the beam that supported the roof on the right side of our outer wall.
There, pinched in between beam and wall was the place where birds every year, with the certainty of the return of the seasons, built their nest. The placement of my bed happened to be in such a way that when I was lying down, my ears would be straight next to the nest built on the other side. I had taught myself the habit of sleeping with my head as closely as possible to the wall, that no more than a petty ten inches could have been between me and the nest. Were it not for the wall in between, I could have laid my head to rest in it.
The wall in particular happened to be so thin, that despite it, I felt very close to the nest. Every little sound vibrated trough the single row of bricks and resonated into my room. I could hear the birds, of which I suspect they were sparrows, building their nest, braiding and adjusting, twig by twig. I heard them ruffling up their feathers, stretching their wings and chattering, chattering, chattering incessantly. I woke up as they woke up, and I fell asleep when they finally did. And then each spring, I would hear... eggs. And I would be there, in my bed in a shell of my own, growing in anticipation. I would be there when the eggs cracked, when the shapeless creatures shrieked their demanding tunes for the first time. I would hear their liveliness, their impatient wings. I would hear the nest growing ever smaller.
Each morning and with growing intensity I would wake up in that nest on the other side of the wall. I was absorbed by my twig palace and by the life that filled it, even though I had not once seen it. It was well hidden away between the wall and the truss, so that even from the outside of the house I wasn’t permitted a peep. To me, the nest was completely invisible, but never did I experience anything as being so real. How loud did not the emptiness sound, when in winter the birds had flown to seek their exotic destinies. All the more hollow was the cavity of that nest where once my imagination had found shelter.
The art of hiding is an ongoing personal project that originated from my fascination for the link between intimate -hidden- space and the imagination, and inevitably how that relates to the practice of storytelling and illustration itself. It is a continuing visual exploration on the poetic nature of intimate space, through the narrative medium of picture-book illustration. Because, while the mind itself might be the best shelter for the mind, surely the book is a strong contender.