Please Let Us Care
Traversing between sculpture, installation and photography, the work of artist and set designer Pieter Eliëns not only highlights the importance of caring for our environment and surroundings, but communicates this with sensitivity and craft.
Some of these messages are literally readable within his work, for example in one photograph the phrase ‘Please Let Us Care’ is printed across fabric draped on a scene in the urban landscape. This work forms part of a temporary installation in Antwerp, which sees printed textiles hung across the city. In other work, on close inspection, subtle white embroideries read ‘Our sanity must be saved’ and ‘I pray for us.’ For Eliëns, this religious messaging is translated as a call to action, often depicting himself or someone else in a praying position, presenting hope as an action.
Elsewhere, in Eliëns’ series Elegy, six steel frames are linked together with electrical cables, powering lights that display found objects otherwise ignored. Here, these frames are elevated to that of altars, connecting us to our surroundings. “I was thinking about how people mourn their losses,” says Eliëns of the series, “about how people attach an emotion to an outdoor place. About what would happen if nature could face itself, about damage and repair, about grief and religious shrines, about the seclusion of artefacts in transparent boxes, and about hope and light.” In this, Eliëns proposes that if we are able to respect or see the beauty in something damaged, thrown away or in need of repair, this can revive our empathy. This ethos is reflected through a sequence of sixteen images depicting a ripped flag blowing in the wind – soon to be taken down and replaced, they’re now immortalised through Eliëns’ photography.
In an artist statement that Eliëns wrote alongside his work, he expresses: “There is no money that can fix our animals dying, our nature collapsing, our people taking other people’s lives. There is still so much beauty to be found. Expose our wounds so they can heal, let us be reminded of our own fragility. It’s worth being nice, don’t you think? Yes, your luminous presence can make a difference. Let us take care of one another.
Discover Pieter’s work here.