Geertje van de Kamp (1986) studied at the Academy of Art and Design in Amsterdam and is now an independent artist. After a period of thorough experimentation, Geertje discovered acrylic glass and began using the medium to create her works. In doing so, she left traditional substrates, such as canvas and panel, behind.
Through her chosen medium, Geertje plays with the work and the space around it, creating distance between the work and the wall wherein a shadow effect resides between the individual layers. This depth becomes visible when viewing the artworks from the side. The shadows and the various viewing angles are just as integral to the work as the object itself.
Geertje van de Kamp’s studio is in a location that many artists dream of: The Magdalena Monastery in Haarlem. This national monument serves as a cultural breeding ground for the Horizonvertical artists’ collective, of which Geertje is a member. Aside from the artist studio spaces, there is an exhibition space accessible to the public.
From paper stairs to origami, folded paper is an important source of inspiration for Haarlem-based artist Geertje van de Kamp. Funnily enough, there is no paper involved in her artwork. Geertje works with harder materials: “I create paintings on acrylic glass with a strong focus on flat versus depth, both in the image and in the construction. Each work consists of two separate layers placed in front of one another, wherein the space in-between creates shadow effects.”
Considering her fascination with origami, the trip to the land of folding art was no surprise. In 2019, Geertje left for Japan and traveled through the country to be inspired by Japanese architecture, people and nature.
Japan, the country known for its visual wonders, its attentive, soothing rituals and origami, was the perfect destination. “At first glance these two sides of Japan are difficult to reconcile, but you can’t put your finger on such an apparent contradiction until you are actually there,” Geertje says.
Just before her trip to Japan, van de Kamp had begun to feel that it was time to take a new step. The Japanese rituals, sense of peace and religious foundations integral to the society and culture were the main sources of inspiration for her new work. The challenge lay in creating a painting with as little information as possible— just enough to still produce an effect. This resulted in a series of works featuring complex origami, as well as a series wherein simplicity served the theme. What is striking about these paintings is that, for the first time, van de Kamp does not suggest a folding line through the use of different areas of color.