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25.09 – 19.11.2022


Artist statement

‘Exhilarating’ is a story about light and positivity. It started, however, in 2017 at a dark place. Overwhelmed by anxiety, I found myself stuck in my home in the countryside of France.


Inside the house, I had reduced my living and sleeping area to an old chaise longue that stood next to the window, where my anxiety seemed most manageable. Through the window, all I saw was the repetition of days going into nights – from darkness to light and from light to darkness. Getting out of that state, was like learning to walk again, and the 4-year journey that followed is what ‘Exhilarating’ is about. It's the bird that awakens before dawn, but trusts that light is about to arrive, despite there is still darkness all around.


"Every moment of light and dark is a miracle."

– Walt Whitman

Each work in ‘Exhilarating’ consists of one hundred small handmade paper cards depicting vast and overwhelming mountainscapes, which were photographed a few hours before dusk, each day. All individual works arranged together, in a diagonal fashion, display the full range of these magical golden hours that separate day and night. They are one hundred moments in time, inseparable to form one work, and in turn, connected to become the series as a whole.

As I go through the motions of life, I am aware that darkness will always be looming, but as I’m standing here today, in a place where there is light, I also accept that each moment of darkness or light is inevitably connected to each other – and therefore, as Whitman once wrote – a miracle. It’s the bliss of hindsight, which is also the place where this story – my most intimate work to date – was created. From the moment in time of photographing the mountains, to the mono-type process to bring the pigments onto the paper. And finally, the pins, instead of glue or tape, to secure the works in place. Each step embraces the fragility of the process, and consequently the imperfections that might emerge, that in turn, have become an essential part of the works as a whole. 

Joost Vandebrug - Exhilarating - E-VII.jpg
Joost Vandebrug - Exhilarating - E-V.jpg
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