Basta Maastricht

april 2006 "het licht van Tamar frank" by Maaike Stolk


The light of Tamar Frank

Her lightinstallations transverse the space. Hang underneath bridges. Are part of the environment, emphasize the forms and give the space and environment a new dynamic that that you had unconsciously perceived but not seen as a stroller in the park, an employer and visitor. Her installations fit and give the room, building, street or park a new shine. Tamar frank, born in Amsterdam 1974, works with light: a new artform.

She decided to occupy herself with light in her 3rd year at Art College in Maastricht. 'No, it was not a decision, it was actually a breakthrough. I enjoyed everything at Art School, where I was studying Monumental Design, but I had no idea of direction. I got off on controlling techniches but that was basically it. Then I started painting on glass and at one point I stuck a piece of foil against the window allowing the light to shine through. This made such an impression on me. I thought I could never achieve the same with painting on canvas - I was still painting then. I did make an attempt with saturating colors, Rothko like but for my final exam I made something similar to that first piece of foil. People reacted strongly!'

Inspired by this she continued to play with lightfall and pieces of foil in boxes. All the experiments were documented on slides and she noticed how the scale of the small boxes diminished becoming life size in the foto. Then she decided to tackle a 'real' space: her room in the Hof van Tilly at the Grote Gracht. 'And that was my first big installation.' Her work with light can be brought back to other artists, amongst which the American James Turrel, who focus on visual perception and the role of humans in this process. The people of this generation - 'yes you can call it a generation' - mainly work with the sensibility of earthly elements. Turrel has, for example, dug a huge ditch out of a dune in Den Haag where you can lie on a rock and experience the sky as a dome. Tamar Frank and others (such as Olaffur Eliasson) work less with the earthly elements, but more with architecture, electric light and environments. She is focussed on monumental assignments. At the moment she also has an assignenment for a care centre in Geulle. Enthousiastically she shows the technical building drawings. She has to work with these drawings since the building does not exist yet. 'I did go on a work visit where I had to put on one of those helmets and was shown around the building site to see how everything is to become,' she sais. 'I look at what is specific to the environment and the elements that are present, how they move and how the light moves. I like to draw emphasis to the things that are already present and allow people to move through the space in a different way.'

Working with light does not deliver a material product. You cannot save it. Almost all her works are temporary. She focusses especially on the environment where her work will be seen. For this reason Tamar does not need a big studio 'I just sketch a bit.' On her website her works are documented in pictures. Her portfolio and her website are the most important means to get work recognition. 'Although I depend mainly on name dropping from people who monitor and follow me,' she sais. Follow her! She makes nice work.