2 large Windows

One of the many challenges in art history is the quest for the ultimate spot in the landscape where great artists planted one’s easel and started creating their famous masterworks. It seems an impossible mission, the endless search for the needle in the haystack, but the satisfaction is immense : the discovery of the many transitions the landscape underwent since and, above all, one’s hope to compare the magic of the masterpiece against the reality of the real landscape. In this digital age all representations of landscapes seem easily retracable. When not the product of a virtual reality, the landscapes are very often found with help from tools such as Google Earth. But still, one of the most famous landscapes as seen on a Windows 98 screensaver, was not that easily found. The “Windows-landscape” with its bright green and blue colours and used by loads of people as their PC -screensaver was the starting point for artist Stijn Cole in his search for the exact spot where this picture of that landscape originated. The filename was a very vague first reference pointing towards its location : “Ireland.bmp”. The Irish Tourist Information organisation was the next step offering a more concrete location: the hill situated in the right corner of the landscape turned out to be Mount Errigal. Stijn Cole than set off on his journey to Ireland . In the surroundings of Mount Errigal he searched, print of the Windows screensaver in hand, for an as near to perfect corresponding horizon.The incentive of his Ireland-project was Cole’s idea to create two panoramic Colorscapes of the same landscape. For the first one he used the Windows-image, for the second his own photographs of the Irish landscape he took on site. To create his Colorscapes Stijn Cole uses landscapes found on the Web or self-made pictures of landscapes he than transforms, using of a very simple digital process, into a totally new landscape-experience. Through the use of a computerized programme 256 of the most common colours found in each picture are classified in small cubes ranging from light to dark. This way one again experiences the landscape with the lighter colour tones on top and the darker ones on the bottom . These digital colourfiles are copied exactly in 256 paint colours to be transferred onto canvas. The search for the Windows landscape finally resulted in a photograph with the same horizon and the same hill in the right hand corner. Whereas the screensaver picture is characterized by highly saturated colours and a sense of non-spectacular unreal beauty, the photograph taken by Cole in Ireland seemed to be the most close to our stereotypical view of the Irish landscape: grey skies, sheep in meadows and these typical dark green and brownish colourschemes.The perspective which defines the landscape and link both photographs together are however no longer parameters defining the Colorscapes. The three-dimensional notion no longer exists: colour is the primary parameter in a fundamentally two-dimensional painting. This way the same landscape peculiarly results in two totally different painting experiences. In this digital era Stijn Cole finds an original solution which results in a new sublimated form of pure painting.