written by Jana Sanchez, CitySavvy Media Ltd, London. 2002.
Pieter Postma appeals to the pioneer in all of us through his art. He touches the part of our soul that wants to discover unknown lands, to learn how to fly or to find new ways of expressing ourselves. He inspires us to take a journey, either inside our own soul or far, far away.
We sense from Pieter’s work that he is fascinated by travellers — those who travel through space and or time and explore new worlds or those who look deep inside their own hearts for the truth. The theme of exploring unknown territories, or new sensations, runs through all of his art.
He reminds us of the joy in discovering a new sensation and what it feels like to be a young child stumbling upon an ant colony or seeing a school of minnows in a pond. He reminds us of the joy in discovering a new sensation for the first time. As passengers along with him on his journey, we sense the rush of adrenaline of the traveller.
His large installations of rockets and spacemen, made of polyester, wood, textiles and vinyl bring the story of exploration to life. They also represent a fantasy, a way of escape.
Pieter’s art speaks directly the viewer. It’s accessible for anyone who takes time to understand the concept beneath it and enjoyable even for those who do not.
Pieter’s sculptures are often aesthetically pleasing. They can be shiny, use striking colour, symmetry and form. Other times, they are startling and out of context. They make the viewer stop and think about what is happening. The scenes are as if from another dimension that we as visitors have accidentally stumbled upon. His work also hints at the alienation we can all feel, as if our surroundings are suddenly new and all the rules have changed.
His art represents explorers – such as his life-size Wadman – or the means used to reach a new land, such as a space motorcycle or rocket. His works also tell the story of the vulnerability of explorers and those living in the lands explored, such as Wadman’s untimely death as a result of a mechanical malfunction, or the slow death of a bunny in the wrong place when a rocket lands. We join Wadman in his struggle against time and his acceptance that he will pay the ultimate price for leaving his own safety zone of home.
A trained mechanical engineer and fashion designer, Pieter’s tangible skills come to the fore in his art. The structure of his sculptures – often moulded from steel and vinyl or other everyday materials – demonstrate his understanding of balance, proportion and aesthetics. He uses his craftsmanship as a medium to express his art, creating beautiful objects with a deeper meaning there to explore. There are layers underneath the beautiful exteriors for those who take time to reflect: the art harkens back to the young boy’s dream, the refugee’s search for a better life or the explorer’s push for discovery.
Pieter sums up the emotion behind his art: “I could be Wadman. I can explore new places and I could learn and grow along the way. At the same time, I could also meet the tragic fate of millions of pioneers before me.
Hunting trophies (Jachttrofeeen)
In the beginning Pieter began to create works of art that were similar to hunting trophies. He made heads of vinyl and steel to be hung on a wall just as a hunter would shoot a deer and display it, proof of a voyage taken and a land conquered.
Pieter’s representations of rockets range from small steel and vinyl creations to large, metaphoric pieces. These are the means by which travellers visit new lands and explore.
The Wadman takes a calculated risk in his explorations. He knows it’s dangerous, but he goes anyway. Wadman, which is a leather clad figure and the star of a short film about his journey, pays the ultimate price. We join him in the final minutes of his voyage and his life.
This piece explores the dark side of the impact of travel. It’s not enough to simply go somewhere and explore. We end up interacting with its inhabitants and the result is death and destruction. Pieter brings to life the death of an indigenous being.