CORPUS Between body and spirit.
Flat, amorphous shapes in subdued shades of dark-grey. Ruudt Peters’ new jewellery appears to be austere and abstract until the eye is drawn to the occasional sharp edges, distinct details, or intentionally modelled surfaces. Associations suddenly tumble over one another: arms or legs evoke images, suggestive associations abound, one look at a face and a reaction is mandatory. For Ruudt Peters, unusual materials or unexplored techniques often provide the basis for new developments in his oeuvre. This is the way he rejuvenates his style language and stretches the concept of beauty even further. His CORPUS jewellery collection seems to have sprung from such a formal working method. However, Peters is also on a quest for spirituality in his work, be it the Greek gods, Buddhism or the Jewish caballa as his earlier work has demonstrated. One line of approach he did not consider in the past was Christianity. Was it too predictable a choice, or was it too close for comfort in the artist’s view? For this subject, Peters did not start from the material but from the spirit. Western art history is dominated by biblical subject matter: God the Father, his Son, Maria’s with child, the lure of heaven and hell and the apostles and saints’ countless exploits. From the abundance of motifs Peters chose what lies at the heart of Christianity: Jesus as the saviour of mankind. Images of ‘Christ on the Cross’ are to be found everywhere, from childrens rooms to churches. For a thousand years artists have searched for an apt representation of the crucifixion: from the archaic simplicity of Romanesque depictions to an increasingly explicit image of a virtually naked man, vulnerable, without the means to defend himself. The emphasis on suffering, blood and violence increases towards the end of the Middle Ages, furthermore the body of the Christ figure becomes increasingly pronounced: bones supporting the body, muscles starting to develop, the abdomen curving, the loincloth losing its innocence. The religious symbol takes on increasingly complex meanings. It was a challenge for Ruudt Peters to add his own interpretation to this iconography. In a study in which the crucifix was initially sawn into bits and pieces and then joined together again instinctively, the artist was not only guided by religious connotations. Other aspects present themselves: the meeting of bodies, the expressiveness of touch, the odour of intimacy.