These works feature one of nature’s quintessential elements: water. These images also reference our spiritual, mythological and psychological relationship to water. Water has long captured human imagination, bestowed restoration, sustained life and seemed infinite, boundless - a potent force. Mismanagement of fisheries, toxic industrial waste and dead zones created by human activity currently endanger oceans, rivers, aquifers and lakes. How this will ultimately affect our relationship with water, so vital to human existence, still remains to be seen.
Margaretha Bootsma uses photography, acrylic paint, ink, charcoal and wax on panel to create landscapes that both seduce and challenge the viewer. The photographs are taken by the artist from West Coast locations where natural and urban landscape intersect. Paint is then introduced to enliven and re-make the photograph. Here the physicality of the paint represents the emotional, intuitive body where as the photograph represents the intellect and material world.
This collection reflects on the significance of water as a life giving force and its current fragile state. There is an inherent human attraction to water. This is presented by human activity set in oceanic scenes that the artist has constructed with photographs and paint.
In these predominately "seascapes", industry is inserted where there is human recreation and the unexpected presence of traffic signs signifies the prevalence of car culture. These insertions remain on the periphery of our consciousness where we mistake them to be benign and irrelevant to our daily activities.
This collection was inspired by Bootsma’s participation in SilvrettAtelier Artist’s Residency in Austria in August 2004. Here the dominant image of the mountain expands beyond the boundary of the photograph: a distillation of place and experience. The photo panels, Anatomy of the Mountain 1, 2, 3 and 4, explore the ambiguous perception of space experienced in the mountains.
Selected works, 1994-2003
This collection continues to reflect the recurring theme of the landscape and human intervention. The use of found metal, as an industrial remnant is evident in these past works as is the use of pictorial architectural arrangements. Spontaneous treatment of paint and surface evoking organic matter and earth phenomena is juxtaposed with the defined image in the photograph. The tree as subject resonates for its myriad rich symbolism and its presence in both natural and urban settings.