sea stories

- brief history of the wavelets -

Bart Drost introduced the 'wavelets' in his artworks during his studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Arts in Amsterdam. It was not the most relaxing time of his life. He had never thought of becoming an artist and during his childhood art was not a living thing in his family. Yes, operettas were played and every now and then an alcoholic painter came into the house to paint portraits of the family members. As payment, father Drost gave the painter paint and other materials.

Life at art school was tough! Drost struggled with emotions, unfulfilled desires, impossible infatuation, sexual identity, and so on. It was a very lonely time in a busy city where everyone seemed to live their lives lightly. Drost was drowning and desperate for a safe haven.

Boat at sea turned out to be a nice metaphor.

And naturally there were the 'wavelets' ...

The 'waveletss' will from then on show up again and again in Drost's art work. He gradually comes to call them 'winklings'. Predominantly blue they cover walls and canvases. Often as part of an installation, of a total work of art.


salt sand sea

The sea plays a leading role in many of the works that Bart Drost presented at his graduation exhibition at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. On a large scale table there is a tablecloth, painted with dark blue wavelets pretending to imagine the sea. The wavelets symbolize real waves, I presume. On the table there is a glazen bowl containing a small boat stranded in the sand.


the sea, the boys and me - 1983

The performance 'the sea,the boys and me' that Bart Drost performed as part of this exhibition was the basis for the final exam work in 'salt, sand, sea'. He rolled out a cotton cloth, painted with light blue waves. Around it he placed youth portraits of himself. There are 2 football boys hanging on the wall, in line sawn out of plywood. Both figures are placed on the canvas. Drost smears himself with yellow paint and then, with his bare body, creeps in wave motion on the canvas. The boys' silhouettes are placed on the canvas. The whole is sprayed with black acrylic paint.

With this performance he declares himself "one of them" and from that moment the boys make their appearance in his work.


painting the boy - 1983

In 1983 Drost painted in his house in Amsterdam the boy F, at that time his model, as he slowly rolls over a canvas with blue waves, The boy became so to say part of the immens sea. Other photo projects with F are bundled in the booklet 'wat bezielt een mens'


red sea - 1984

This drawing / collage watercolor on paper, b / w photo, in frame, 40 x 55 cm., Was part of the exhibition 'Garden for a young hero' in Galerie O5't in Amsterdam.

wet dreams, bleu - 1984

This installationI Bart Drost made for the cultural centre De Maaspoort in Venlo: a cloth painted with licht blue wavelets. In front of the cloth there is a wooden pedestal, on top a glazen bowl filled with water. When you look through the bowl the water enlarges de wavelets.


you in my rose garden - 1983-1987

This installation in three parts was part of the exhibition 'the way to happiness', in Basta En Route, Nijmegen 1987.

Three pieces of fabric hang side by side on the wall. The first is painted with dark blue waves; a naked boy is embroidered on the second cloth; the third is the result of Drosts naked body rolling blue paint over the cloth.


goodbye to an anxious past - 1988

'goodbye to an anxious past' is an Installation in the little church of Persingen. On over one hundred square meters cloth Drost painted his wavelets again, in blazing red. One could not enter the church without walking on - and thus defiling - the cloth. The cloth covered the altar. On the altar there was a photo of a five years old Bart, standing in the sea.


just passing time - 2014

In the Garden Studio of the KCAC - Drost's workshop for five weeks - he made small drawings on Nepalese paper almost every day. Small waves in pencil. Concentrated like a monk, sitting in front of the window, looking out to the wild garden. It took another two or three hours a day. There was no obvious reason for this activity, the only thought was 'I have to do this'. It gave room for new reflections and ideas. The installation 'Three pieces for Patan' would not have gotten its current form without taking the time to make these small drawings.

He has now made fifty pencil drawings and hung them in ordinary Nepalese frames in his studio. He completed this self-made installation with a copper replica of the child's head, cast by an artist from Patan.

The fifty drawings were also exhibited in 2014 at a reprise of the Patan projects in MAAS, Nijmegen.


what if god was one of us - 2014

During a period as artist in residence at KCAC in Kathmandu, making 'Three pieces for Patan' the waves returned by surprise after more than twenty-five years: in this installation Drost painted enormous light blue waves on a concrete floor. On the platform a low table with 30 children's faces, of which 29 casted in concrete and 1 carved from stone by a local stonemason.

The waves have been applied with water soluble paint, so a heavy rain shower and ...


o teatro de passagem - 2016

During an artist in residence stay in Portugal, Bart Drost made as part of o teatro de passagem' four painting riourngs in a former train station.He decided to make one mural in each of the station's four rooms, covering an entire wall.After six days, he had hand painted over 60,000 little blue "waves" on the walls and the job was done.The four rooms each have their own character: room 1 has three layers of blue, room 2 two layers, room 3 one layer and in room 4 on the mural a small detail of the painting in room 4 has been greatly enlarged. On a wall in the fourth room he drew a kind of overview table, in which you can read how many waves he painted on a particular wall in one day.


fading away - 2016

Nursing home Doddendaal in Nijmegen is in a transition phase and new residents will no longer be living there. The home is slowly but surely emptying. During a short artist in residence in the old people's home, Drost performed an installation in three empty apartments each.

Working in a home for the elderly, especially when that house slowly but surely 'empties', changes your senses and thoughts: death is very present. He furnished this road-ebb room, the ultimate decor that he would wish for when the end of his life was unexpectedly approaching: "lazy, stretched out on an air mattress, sliding nicely in the sun in the horizon".


blinds - 2021

In November 2021 Bart Drost was an artist in residence at the artist initiative POPOP in the former tax office of Nijmegen. As a counter-image to the leading motif in this working period, the 'notes of a civil servant', he created a subdued overall picture in the former office space: he painted tens of thousands of light blue waves on both walls by hand with a small brush and turfed the number of waves with pencil. a pillar.


Bart Drost

free artist

Graafseweg 183a
6531ZR Nijmegen
The Netherlands