This publication designed by Simon Davies presents a series of drawings created by Cornelissen after a stay in Svalbard, where he resided in 2018 at the invitation of the Arctic Center of the University of Groningen, and during which the focus of his work slowly shifted from political mythology to ecology.
This publication features a series of drawings made by Ronald Cornelissen after a stay at the Netherlands Arctic Station on Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. The scenes depicted in the first edition of Gerrit de Veer's travel famous journal The Three Voyages of William Barents to the Arctic Regions (1594, 1595, and 1596) from 1596 served as the starting point for these drawings. The drawings mashup the work of Gerrit de Veer with that of Elzie Segar, John Carpenter, Michel Serres, Vladimir Demikhov and Mary Shelley and serves up an alternative image of the Arctic. The book, designed by Simon Davies, represents the drawings at different scales; from 1:1 (details) to 1:14 (whole drawings). This mimics the movement of visitors viewing the large scale drawings in an exhibition context. The books design refers to the subjects explored by the drawings as well as to the form of De Veer's original journal.
Ronald Cornelissen (born 1960 in Beverwijk, The Netherlands) studied at AKV St. Joost Academy in Breda between 1983 and 1988. Since than he has been making drawings, sculptures and installations. His treatment of themes like our increasingly complex relationship with nature, and related issues such as the conflict between rationalism and mysticism, results in work that is both darkly critical and tragically comical. Over the years, Cornelissen has developed a highly idiosyncratic formal vocabulary in his drawings, sculptures and installations, mining various sources from high to low culture, and shifting swiftly between the different speeds and temperatures of the various artistic domains he is active in. This makes for a truly unique voice, that is not so much observational or reflexive, but rather libidinal and affective, setting itself emphatically apart from the increasingly stylized output of the ubiquitous semi-academic research-based practice or citational modernism.