THEY HAVE NO CATEGORIES
Landscapes have colours –
A spectrum of subtleties
They have no categories
But I do.
I DO NOT RECORD HUMAN TRACES
I do not record human traces.
We have not been here long enough to matter.
Land and sea are and will be for millions of years.
We might destroy much but only for ourselves, not for the earth.
I paint landscapes, what else is worth painting?
Lands are not self-conscious models, they don’t subscribe to artist’s manifestos.
They don’t care whether I paint them or not,
This is freedom.
THE WORLD CHANGES ALL THE TIME
The world changes all the time.
Changes can occur fast.
Many of the landscapes which I have painted in, at, on, over, and under, exist no more.
A dry river bed today.
One big flood changes everything.
A glacier melts away
A forest burns down.
Years later, same river, new trees, new landscape.
THERE IS NOTHING
There is nothing in the
which is lesser
There is nothing in the
which is larger.
It is the Swartberg Pass
that sets the scale
for both Karoos.
If you have never been there
and felt as naught,
— and less significant
you could feel nowhere –
then these my painting tell you:
Face grandeur there
LANDSCAPES DON’T EXIST
Landscapes don’t exist
They are human concepts,
As ephemeral as time.
I give them permanence,
I have made them all my life.
Once I have painted, then they are there.
They need me to be.
I ADMIRE THEIR TRANSIENCE
I admire their transience, love the work of change and do not bother with man’s superficial creations! He made bridges and roads for the Sabie river, contained neatly in its central groove in a wider bed formed over the millennia but unused for about 150 years, judging by the age of trees which have grown there. Then Nature sent it back to its bed, with force, and manmade structures disappeared in a flash. Who cares? Not the river:
I believe in documenting what surely will change. At my house at the Kruger Park, I have painted hectares of land at all seasons. The trees and roads. One night, courtesy of four elephants, the trees came down. I painted the corridors of power that they have left behind, and when trees grow again, I shall paint them anew…
ON A SMALL SCALE
On a small scale, drought years change bush, savannah or semi desert to such an extent that the next rainy season cannot reinstate the old pattern of vegetation. Again, warm winters transform the pristine, romantic white of the Alps into dull barren grey. Other tourist attractions are different now from what they once were (the Fish river once flowed northwards!) while beaches are often artificially maintained.
MAN LOVES AND SEEKS OUT NATURE’S PANORAMAS
Man loves and seeks out Nature’s panoramas, even if he has little understanding of the processes that formed them.
NATURE MAKES RADICAL CHANGES
Nature makes radical changes: a deep breath, and a volcano explodes, a little sneeze and a tsunami engulfs coast lines half around the globe, a bit too much to drink from the sky and rivers go where they have not been in remembered time…
THERE ARE FEW PLACES ON EARTH
There are few places on earth where rivers show as much change of form within their respective beds as they do in South Africa.
Any given watercourse can, within a single cycle of the seasons, be dry sand and stone now, then a series of disconnected puddles, or gain friendly wetness and change to devastating torrents.
Hans is fascinated by this phenomenon and captures, with pleasure that never lessens, an artist’s record of the faces of our waters – and those faces are uncountable!