All the mess we leave behind,

Amsterdam April 2024

Monument for Willis 

On show, Fall 2024

Windy corners, 
where the wind carries the weight of forgotten dreams and the echoes of time,


Rendezvous at a windy corner, @ studio Hovinga, cross pollinations to explore, to question, to provoke, to inspire, to disturb, and to connect in the search for new answers.

About me:


Johannes-Harm Hovinga. Weerdinge, The Netherlands 1976 @ Studio Hovinga


It was on a quiet and sunny September day, five years after the realisation and just two kilometers west - northwest from one of the most important land-art works world wide (Broken circle-spiral hill, Robert Smithson 1971) a child was born.
No wise men from the east or three kings, just his mom giving birth and his dad and sister around.
No one could imagine yet that that the work of Robert Smithson would influence his life years and years after


Johannes-Harm Hovinga.
 Photo background: Broken circle - Spiral hill, Robert Smithson. (Emmen 2022) 

It was 2012, after 10 years of running a business in garden and landscaping, I made a choice, a choice to give up everything I ever known.

A hard reset was needed, a little black spot slowly growing over years was taking over, a black spot called depression. I lost my smile, and death looked like a sunny place in paradise.

The choice I made was inspired by my yought, a choice for a life in art,

What was I thinking..


As a kid I was already fascinated by the work of Robert Smithson,

It was my first contact with art, where I was playing as a young child up and around the work, where I did go for a swim on the warm summer days.

When growing up the work made me more and more aware of the influence we have as a human on our environment, it made me aware how the landscapes in the Netherlands are completely designed, planned, manmade, it made me curious in and about life, the work learned me to look with a different eye to everything around.

Photo: Broken circle - Spiral hill, Robert Smithson. (Emmen 2022) 

My other inspiration I found in words, words that echoed in my head since a day in the late nineties. In neon letters reading them at the main train station of Eindhoven The Netherlands

“Conventie, een soort herinnering, is het grootste beletsel om te genieten van het leven en kunst”.

“Convention, a kind of memory, is the greatest hindrance to enjoying life and art. 
Piet Mondiaan

Standing there for over 15 minutes, reading those words over and over again.


“Collecting ingredients from other fields is where I find new perspectives”

Responsibility

In my opinion in art we have a responsibility, the responsibility to make visible what is invisible, the responsibility to record what should not be forgotten, the responsibility to speak up for those who cannot, the responsibility to create awareness.
As humanity faces demanding issues such as a changing climate, environmental challenges and social injustice, in art we have the responsibility to shed light on these issues and inspire action.

We are at a crucial turning point in history, where the consequences of a changing climate and environmental issues becomes increasingly evident, Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, the loss of biodiversity and precious ecosystems, forever chemicals, microplastics, are just a few examples of what our planet is facing.


This is something that affects every single one of us,

We can discuss about the consequences of a changing climate, but we can’t deny it.
A changing climate is nothing new to planet earth, but the fact is; we as humans made it worse, it's not a normal fluctuation anymore, it's a fast incoming reality that we can't avoid and is threatening life, human rights around the world


We must be aware of our influence as humans on the earth, the consequences of our actions, our responsibility to the future.

Hope

In this negative flow I see HOPE !
I see the hope in our collective power of the individual to create change, to raise awareness to take action!
When we wouldn’t have hope there would be no action, we wouldn’t raise our voices.


Hope is hip, and it better stay like that.

My Pledge


By standing up in hope, our dedication and passion inspires others to take action and sparking systemic change.

This is something we all can do on our own way, where everyone has their own sphere of influence and therefore their own ability to bring about change from small to large steps!

The question we have to ask ourselves then is, what step can we take, what step do we want to take, towards a fair climate policy, towards equality, to stand for human rights that safeguard everyone’s right to fairness, dignity and respect.


The answer for me is: a pledge 


My pledge is to align my work with the principles of human rights, equality, environmental responsibility, and a fair climate policy.


On human rights my pledge through my work is that I always try to portray social issues, to tell the narratives that challenge injustice and amplify the voices of the marginalized. By addressing human rights concerns through the language of art, I try to contribute to a broader dialogue that transcends conventional boundaries, fostering empathy and understanding, to stand for equality and inclusivity.


The pressing challenges posed by a changing climate and environmental issues demand collective action.

My pledge is to shed light on the environmental issues, the changing climate  that confronts our world.

Recognizing the environmental impact we have, I made the pledge to reduce my carbon footprint in my work.



Art and activism, for me it’s a symbiotic relationship.

(An important note,: Climate action that is not anchored in a human rights-based approach risks further violating of human rights, where human rights already are more and more under pressure everywhere.)






(When taking action, raising awareness, when we raise our voices about the changing climate, environmental issues we all are judged, We are all judged on the things we do, they find a foto online from a holiday when flying and we are condemned.

But nobody is a saint, we all struggle with our footprint on the planet.)

Where it all started..

2012 FRAGMENTED SOCIETY 1 

Where it all started in 2012, 110 m2, Emmen the Netherlands.

2013 FRAGMENTED SOCIETY 2 


In the end of 2012 the organisation of the Elephant parade in Trier Germany contacted me to be part of this outdoor exhibition and auction in Trier Germany in 2013 to raise awareness for need of elephant welfare and conservation, 

For this I made this work based on Fragmented society 1.

The orange shoaling fishes on the elephant are representing the people in our society who are very well connected trough social media by facebook, twitter, instagram, but at the same time more divided than ever and alone in our fragmented society.