Regarding Van Der Meulen deals with the transience of human life, a fascination that manifests itself in his curved steel sculptures. Fragmented and oversized, the works juxtapose the unyielding material of the movement that is inherent in the poses of the figures and the shapes of their clothes. Each of their bodies is incomplete, be it by a limb cut in half or a torso that gapes with negative space.
Van Der Meulen lives in Johannesburg and shares that much of his work exposes the vulnerability of the body and how both minute and drastic changes alter its appearance. Branches, geometrical parts and erosion interrupt the inconspicuous figures and serve as a metaphor for their mental and physical instability and the precarious state of the natural world and civilization. The artist writes:
I am fascinated by human mortality and the fleeting moments we spend here. One often forgets how fragile life and our environment are. We think we are part of a binary relationship with nature when in fact we are. Sudden changes in our environment or in our experiences can instantly change the way we view life and our role in it.
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