Hi my name is Niels Bekkema and I am a visual artist and a writer. By clicking on the underlined words, this website reveals documentation of what I do, linking to related places, people or relevant documents. The javascript that enables this site to act in that way was written by my friend Ismay Wolff.

My most recent work is called For A Door. |
2019, maple and cork, 140 x 18 x 12 cm


For A Door is made from maple. On the one side there is a hand, on the other a foot. It hangs over a door, and, like a paperclip, it connects two spaces in a way they weren’t before.
It is a wooden sculpture of a hand and a foot that hangs over a door. Before, I made two works on panel, 2019
one called So To Say, 2019, oilpaint and polyurethane resin on and inside a wooden panel, 123 x 81cm
the other So To Speak. 2019, paperpulp and acrylic on and inside a wooden panel, 123 x 81cm
In a way, these works continue further from two works I installed during an an exhibition called Wereldontvanger. |
2019


These works were called Sample, |
2018, spoon, hole


Sample and Example are two site specific sculptures that where installed in the project space Onono (Rotterdam) in November 2018, for the exhibition “Wereldontvanger”. Sample is a spoon installed in two spaces at once, Example is a grey metal bracket, installed on the skirting board that is holding an orange. I see these works as closely related, because they address metonymical issues of presenting, demonstrating and holding.
a spoon hanging through a wall, meaning it is installed in two places at the same time, and it therefore isn’t possible to see it at once, as a whole, and Example, 2018, metal bracket, orange
Sample and Example are two site specific sculptures that where installed in the project space Onono (Rotterdam) in November 2018, for the exhibition “Wereldontvanger”. Sample is a spoon installed in two spaces at once, Example is a grey metal bracket, installed on the skirting board that is holding an orange. I see these works as closely related, because they address metonymical issues of presenting, demonstrating and holding.
an orange hanging inside a metal bracket from the rooms skirting board.

The idea of something existing in dialogue with another thing, it being doubled, echoing, pairing, a chirality, how one thing can yield multiple variations, I am now further exploring. As soon as there are results, I will publish them here and on my Instagram.

In the summer of 2018, I was a resident in Banff, Canada, where I experimented with writing on light sensitive paper, a process that resulted in a temporal sculpture called Wereldontvanger. 2018, flour A sculpture in flour, based on photogramming experiments in the color darkroom of the Banff centre for arts and creativity.

Supported by:
Mondriaan fund and CBK Rotterdam


Alternating Currents |
2017, 98,5 x 80 x 13cm


Alternating Currents departed from questions evoked by writing short stories. Is it possible for objects to have an open end? Can an arrangement of objects be like an arrangement of words? With these questions in mind, I build a cabinet for a collection of objects, to examine the dialogues between objects, and to address the complicated relationship between container and contained.
is a cabinet containing a collection of objects. One of the works I made during my MA is called Seashells That Look Like Petrified Ears. |
2016, self published editions of 25


Seashells That Look Like Petrified Ears is a collection of short stories. Each story departs from the idea of walking. Sometimes characters walk physically, such as in Train, where two characters are looking for a place to sit in a train, and observe how the train transforms into a mountain landscape. At other times the walk is considered more abstractly, such as in At the Same Time, or Nomad, which revolve around notions of economical frugality, companionship, longing and disorientation.
This work comprises a number of short stories. Other writings by me you can find on my other website archipelagos.space, which has been dormant now for a while but it is my ambition to continue expanding it.

Tower |
2015, maple, brass hook, nylon rope, 4,7 x 4,7 x 185cm


Tower Windows carved inside a maple beam that is hanging just above the floor of a presentation space.
and Leaking Lighthouse |
2015, wallnut, metal hook, nylon rope, 4,7 x 4,7 x 195cm


Leaking Lighthouse is a wallnute beam that is hanging just above the floor of a presentation space. The words Leaking Lighthouse, abandoned water. Delayed diagonal, mimicked broadcast. are carved into the wood, and spiral downwards.
are two similar sculptures I made in 2015, both made from wood and dealing with the idea of writing as a house. In Light Of 2015, two lights, two TL starters, a contact microphone, an amplifier and speakers
In Light Of consists of two light bulbs, blinking at a random pattern. These bulbs where installed in two different spaces. During twilight, these lights started the blinking sequence, establishing an immaterial connection between the two unrelated and unconnected spaces for a brief period of time.
is a somewhat older installation, made in 2015 with two blinking lightbulbs, and Peter & The Strange Houses 2015-2017
As an audio work in Twil Sharp, Johannesburg, RSA, during the show The House, curated by Samantha McCulloch
Peter & The Strange Houses is a story about a man who longs to be in the woods. It is told in three short chapters, a prologue and an epilogue.
read... ~PROLOGUE~
In which we find Peter alone in a forest, searching for a phenomena he witnessed three years ago…

Peter had seen the strange houses in this forest before, but now he could not find them.
After hours of walking the forest became a monotonous being, and Peter lost hope.
He drove through this forest almost every day for ten years.
It had never occurred to him to walk through it, until three years ago, when his car had broke down on the road through.

To kill some time while waiting for the rescue service, Peter walked into the forest.
Six hours later he found his car gone, and the night had come.
Stunned by his encounter with the strange houses, Peter decided to walk home.
Three years later Peter parked his car on the same spot as last time, and entered the forest.

~FIRST CHAPTER~
In which we learn how Peter found the houses, and how they communicate…

Three years ago Peter found the strange houses by accident.
He was not sure how he understood how they communicated, but they did so by shining light through their curtains at night.

Peter was not supposed to find the strange houses, they showed themselves to him, not the other way around.
He tried to explain this to them, but still they wanted him to leave.

Peter left, and the houses took his thoughts as a deposit.
"If you come back, we will make you lose your mind", he could hear them say.
But how could they ask him to leave, when they owned a part of him?

~SECOND CHAPTER~
The memory of the strange houses becomes heavier, Peter goes back to the forest…

The memory of the strange houses shaped Peter’s imagination.
His personality became more and more at odds with itself.

Had Peter really seen the strange houses?
Was his imagination the reason the houses existed?
How do you find anything by chance?

Peter’s doubt transformed into anger,
his anger transformed into obsession.

Peters confusion gradually separated him from reality,
and drove him back to the forest.

~THIRD CHAPTER~
In which Peter finds the strange houses and convinces them to let him stay…

As Peter wandered in the forest, he feels sure he has to stop looking.
Everything was similar to three years ago: it was dusk and the weather was the same.

Before Peter knew it, some hours had passed and he could no longer move. His legs had frozen stiff to the ground, and his eyes where open wide.

Peter understood that his desperation had convinced the strange houses, all he could do now was sleep.

~EPILOGUE~
In which Peter transforms into stone and wood, and becomes one of the houses…

Some time has passed and Peter’s transformation is complete.
He is no longer afraid of losing his mind,fear was the first part of himself to become dormant.
The rest of him followed.

At first Peter had arms, now he has windows.
Before he owned feet, now he has a roof and ceiling.
Previously he had skin, now he has plaster and a chimney.
His senses have transformed into light,which he shines through his curtains at his fellow houses.
is a short story about a man wanting to be house.

If you want to get in touch you can do so using info@nielsbekkema or through the above mentioned Instagram account. Click here for my CV.