Translated from Dutch

PRESS RELEASE: Sjabien Foundation

Published in Streekblad Newspaper Zoetermeer: January 2008

DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS: Friday January 4th till 13th

Tristan, 24 years old, born in Canada and living in England (London) stays in the guest studio of BaZtille Studios in Zoetermeer for a period of two months.

On a Sunday afternoon, the 2nd of December I met Tristan and talked about his work and his motivation to come to Zoetermeer. It all started with a conversation he had with Pip Utton, the famous English actor who performed in the Stadstheater Zoetermeer, with his piece about Francis Bacon. Pip, on his turn, visited BaZtille Studios and heard about the guest studio. Holland was not unknown to Tristan, he had visited Amsterdam before nominated for the Hans Brinker Trophy Award. After talking to Pip Utton, Tristan wrote an email to Sjabien Foundation (responsible for inviting guest artists).

To be able to work in an other environment where also other artists have their studio is a perfect base to make contacts and share experiences. Contacts were made quickly and Tristan found a colleague in Hans Feij who shared the same love for making drawings. Due to his fascination for photography he had conversations with Jeroen Verheugd and Petra Wiek. Some photo sessions took place in BaZtille, results are shown during his exhibition. A visit to the GEM museum in The Hague (show of Daniel Richter) was a good start for conversations about contemporary art.

In Zoetermeer Tristan made work on paper, small sizes. He mainly paints on board, but this was not practical to transport, and he enjoyed how paper feels less precious than a pre-cut primed board. The first thing that you see as you look at his work is light colors and open spaces. The light colors suggest a certain amount of kindness. But, the soft tones hide at the same time a cynism underneath. The drawings show a sort of ongoing story, a small figure appears all the time. It had, for me, associations with the Little Prince (Antoine de Saint Exupery). The work of Tristan is not moralizing, but it is confronting. Some autobiographic story is hidden in it. It makes you question.

When I asked him if Zoetermeer had any influence on his work, he told me that it was a very good experience. He got to know Zoetermeer because he went from his house to the studio, walking or bicycling, through the oldest street (Dorpsstraat). Influences or images of the city and his stay can have an influence on his coming work. You can see his work daily from 1300 till 1700 hrs, BaZtille Studios, Rokkeveenseweg 46c, Zoetermeer. During the exhibition Tristan will be there to talk about his work.

Interview and text by Robert Verhaaf