The one I was looking forward to do, I’m still mesmerised by this dystopia on the other side of the canal. The steel mill covers an area larger than the city of IJmuiden itself, the pipes erupts enormous steam clouds silently jetting up hundreds of yards in the air and dissipate like being erased with a fan brush. This gigantic mill makes no noise, you can’t see humans, large machines move, ships moor and move out to sea again. It is an awe inspiring ugly animal, not hostile, at dawn, dusk and in fog one could love it, even think it’s a kind of poetry.
I’m getting a feel for the palettes in this series, even though I manipulate them to create a specific atmosphere, living seaside in Holland is a continuous show of cloud types and incredible colours of skies. The most amazing one is a lead grey Northern sky in the evenings, even when the sun shines on the beach the Northern sky says; it’s Judgement Day.
The first two images of what is to become a series about the most ugly city in Holland, the seaside harbour town of IJmuiden. Here a crazy mix of contrasting elements and dynamics creates a unique atmosphere. The busy sea-locks and the channel to Amsterdam separate the town from a steel mill (larger than the city) with sky-ruining pipes vomiting steam and smoke 24/7. Of the three harbours the fishing fleet’s one is the busiest. The city itself consists largely of depressing channel diggers homes and ugly post war council flats. IJmuiden however borders to the largest Dunes nature reserve in Europe, has the broadest beach and a clean sea. An acquired taste it may be but I’ve grown to love this place so much I want to show the beauty of its ugliness.
#10, Entertainment for the inane. For now the final illustration in this series. I have enough ideas for three more series but not before I find a publisher for this first series.
Memory of our Chiang Mai terrace, editing a day’s writing.