How can the age-old tradition of making totems help us in our time to make the value of nature tangible?

January 8, 2023

A woodworker is inherently connected to nature due to the materials they use. Wood was once the foundation of a living tree and even after processing, it still reacts to outside conditions. Anyone making furniture must consider that wood will shrink when dry and expand in high humidity. It is precisely these properties that make working with this material so valuable to me. Working with wood helps me to make tangible the connection we all have with nature and our environment. For the Building Talent Grant from The Creative Industries Fund NL, I am entering into a partnership with a young illustrator, Noa Zuidervaart. Together, we place the age-old tradition of making totems into the present day. We make spiritual objects; the totems are a means of connecting with the forces of nature. In doing so, our objects manifest connection; a wood connection. The sculptures Noa and I are making will explore topics such as the power of lightening, human/air connection and the energy of the turtle.

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