In the “Variations sur les mêmes thèmes” works, Cole uses a limited number of ingredients to create series in which each work is slightly different from the others. On top of a vertical photograph of the sea with the horizon perfectly in the middle, two areas of colour are screen-printed that together make up half of the image. The colours used are the average colours of the sky and the sea. By arranging the surfaces in four different ways, four different compositions are created. The screen-printed areas are printed matt on top of the glossy image.
The “Souvenir” works were created when Cole decided to move back to Flanders from the Walloon town of Chimay. As a souvenir of the landscape, he photographed solitary trees during the spring. These images were developed on Lambda paper and exposed to the sun throughout the summer. The left half was covered so that only the right half was damaged by the sunlight. The summer of 2019 also turned out to be the warmest ever.
De tekeningen van Stijn Cole lijken machinaal gemaakt, Cole leerde zichzelf een techniek aan waarbij hij via arceringen eenzelfde intensiteit kan aanhouden gedurende lange periodes. De 1:1 tekeningen verwijzen naar de schaal van het onderwerp. Cole plaatste een kader in het landschap en fotografeerde vanop een bepaalde afstand het landschap door dit kader. De positie van zijn camera wordt door een keramische schijf op de grond aangetoond. Vanop deze plek ziet de toeschouwer het werk op ware grootte alsof het een venster op de realiteit zou zijn. Cole begon tekeningen te maken toen hij het verschuiven van het perspectief afhankelijk van de positie van waarnaar men een onderwerp bekijkt, als onderwerp van zijn werk wou maken. Met fotografische beelden kon hij een toeschouwer er niet toe bewegen dichterbij te komen, met zijn tekeningen slaagt hij hier wel in, mensen willen van dichtbij de details bestuderen en performen zo de fysieke verplaatsing die Cole voor ogen had.
Timescapes” are photographic works that depict the evolution of a landscape’s colours over a period of time. Cole photographs the same landscape every minute for a certain period of time, a few hours, a day. All the colours of the sky are then converted into one average colour, and the same happens with those of the land surface, a lawn or the sea. These colours are digitally assembled until a timeline is created. Cole uses this process to tell different stories. In 60 tours d’éré, he photographed the sunset between 19:00 and 24:00 6o times during the summer of 2016. Throughout the series, in addition to the fact that no day is the same although the subject is, we see darkness falling earlier and earlier.
In these works, a three-dimensional component is added to a two-dimensional photograph. The image always consists of a disordered landscape, an image of the middle of a forest, the jungle. The work is printed in two parts on brushed aluminium, both parts are attached to each other by hinges that allow the angle to be determined. The gesture ensures that they can stand autonomously in the space and form a paravane. Cole presented this type of work for the first time at the Enghien Biennale in a formal French garden. A second was placed in an Italian botanical garden; this work showed mainly pioneering plants such as nettles and birches.
In these A3-size works, a photographic image is split up into the image (in black and white) and the colours.
The colours present in the snapshot are listed from light to dark within a grid of 16×16 squares. Because the light colours end up at the top of this mathematical, computer-controlled list, many of these works create the illusion of a horizon and an abstracted landscape. The colours are reproduced on top of the print in oil paint.
The first series of six works came about when cole, prompted by the question: Who are you? travelled to the Mont Ventoux and from the summit took several photographs of the surrounding landscape.
The “Blue prints” are photographic works. 2 snapshots, with a fraction of a second in between, of the same wave are mounted in front of each other. The first image is printed in a monochrome blue/green tint, the moment that follows in black and white on Plexiglas. The works acquire a three-dimensional character due to the superposition; they seem to move when a viewer takes a different position, the light casts an ever-changing shadow on top of the back image. The blue prints were set up in C-Mine for the “Marine 1:1” exhibition so that the spectators could wade through them. In Haus der Kunst Solothurn, they were presented in the choir of a chapel.
These flags show part of the crown of a tree. Waving in the wind, they evoke the movement of the leaves. Just like normal flags, they represent a location; for Cole himself they are very concrete places, but for a viewer the images become more universal or refer to places from their frame of reference.
L’heure Bleue / White rainbow
Stijn Cole’s black-and-white photos are Camera obscura images (L’heure bleue) in which the camera captures the light for an hour during the morning twilight. Cole made these works for the Images & Colors exhibition. White rainbow is a photograph of a rainbow converted to black and white. It forms a white arch in the image.
By simply adding a fold where the hidden horizon in a misty landscape was, a new horizon appears. The work reacts to the rhythm of the light; the horizon formed by the shadow is sometimes more, sometimes less, or not visible at all.