Acrylic on canvas
Acrylic on canvas
Jack Vander Wal
Statement: Art for a World Gone Mad - September 2016
Jack VanderWal was born in 1924 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands and grew up in a strict business environment in which there was no place the arts and yet his main interest was poetry and painting.
During the 1940 Nazi invasion of Holland, his passage into manhood was sudden and shocking. Their conviction was that this was a war of good against evil and in the end good would triumph. Peace would be a world where the fundamental of all laws would prevail, namely: "to love they neighbour as thyself."
After the liberation of 1945, there was no time for grieving in the effort to adjust to a normal life. In 1952, Jack immigrated to Western Canada. Shortly after his arrival in Canada he was plagued by "flash-backs" from the war experience, but art became his healer and he painted in his spare time.
“In an insecure world, war wakes people up from a moral stupor. It is a time when morals are fully tested. In contrast, men tend to become proud of their vices in a secure and prosperous world.
During the 50s, Jack had difficulty connecting with the art climate of North America. He felt the arts were based on intellectualizing a concept rather than that which was authentic. Driven by a need to bring a life of strife and conflict to an aesthetic conclusion, he started to study and work in isolation away from artists and art centres.
In 1976, Jack move to Nova Scotia and since that time has worked in an environment of sea and wilderness while living on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.
“From my isolated place and from viewing the world I conclude that humanity has not learned much from the past. We are now overcome by a junk-culture entertaining us with vice, violence and killings, and the authentic is replaced by fantasy lands and theme parks. Today, my prime nourishment for my soul is my natural surroundings, resonating the love its Creator - the Light from the timeless and spaceless, which is the standard and origin of what is authentic and aesthetic.”
I have supported a family of 5 children while compulsively painting. I have produced a large body of work, reflecting not only the times I have lived in but also the development and maturing growth of a soul.”
1940 German armed forces invaded Holland the the threatening Nazi regime
became an everyday reality for tens of thousands of people including Jack
Vander Wal, who was then 16 years old. He had been born in Leeuwarden,
The Netherlands, in 1924 and spent his youth in a dominating commercial
environment however, his interests were with the arts, particularly poetry