Dirty Elphins / Vuile elfen


video, performance/installation/paintings


Having just moved to Kortrijk and full of longing melancholy of Japan’s enchanting and fairylike landscape, I challenge myself to make miniature landscape paintings only in shades of green, grey and brown. Shades difficult to combine but so joyfully and chaotically present in daily life and nature. I paint as if I walk through the Japanese forests, captivated by details and the lingering anthropomorphic and divine forms that, at any moment and in every detail, might pop up. Painting for hours, walking for hours, carrying the treasure of Japan.

These paintings, however, emerged from an intensive event where many dirty elves were involved.

Dirty elves are ‘brave’ beings. Imperturbable they give a damn about the ‘all too clean’, they sparkle between the dark swarm of branches and organic dirt. A bravery we also seek to realize in our dance training with the ‘blindfold sensibility walks’ in which we surrender to the uncompromising experience of nature.

‘At times, a forest near Bruges needed to be thinned out … seven invisible, dirty dance elves needed to leave their ‘houses’ in the trees, and went along with their friends the lumbermen to cut down the trees as (video)’In memory of these invisible but sensible creatures, I lowed out and eroded the trees and made new niches for the ‘commemorative’ paintings, as if the elphins got their home back. During the five weekends, the paintings were exposed in the trees, a bunch of dirty elves kept on dancing non stop …’

Installation, paintings, choreography, video : Pé Vermeersch

Dancers Radical HeArts dance company : Hilde Broeckhove, Angela Babuin, Annelies Cocquyt, Mira Walschot, Uiko Watanabe, Mireilla Martinez, Pé Vermeersch