|Kees Ouwens - Seiyo City, Japan
**Voted 2011-2012 Best of Show!**
As an artist, I am always interested in creating a space with it’s own unique atmosphere through using sculpture. The moment you place a sculpture on a site it changes and actually alters the surroundings immediately in such a strong way that if it was taken away you would really be missing it and the space in which it was previously placed would become empty and incomplete! This quality of sculpture of changing our view, our perception and experience of a place, is very strong and powerful and excites and gives me energy.
To fully optimize this quality, I have to make sculptures which are strong and will blend into the surroundings, searching for work which has the quality of permanence, stillness and a balance that feels natural to me. I look for the lasting and essential. What that might be, I really do not know yet, and the only way to find out is to work every day. During the process of creating, my mind is blank, thinking of nothing. I only use my hands and tools, not my mind. I do not have a preconceived idea or design, I just follow my intuition and get inspiration and guidance from the material. Only through attacking, destruction and assembling of the material can you create and maybe make a discovery or find a touch of brilliance. Sculpture is created in only a brief moment of time and is not reproducible.
Photo contributed by Digital Dubuque
Kees Ouwens is a self-taught sculptor who has his roots in Japanese gardens with its abstract use of stone and placements. He is always looking for the natural qualities of the materials. He strives to bring out the stone’s natural features, using its shape, form, and hardness. He works on the hardest stones such as basalt and granite, creating timeless sculptures and spaces.
Sales price - $35,700