With the title ‘A Shepherd’s Poem’ the Belgian artist Kasper De Vos refers to the tradition of the Pastoral Poetry.
This tradition leads back to the Greek poet Theocritus (3rd century BC) who seduced the elite of Alexandria in his poems with a glorification of the rustic rural life of Sicily.
De Vos playfully flirts with the identification of the shepherd and shows the visitor of the exhibition the rural landscape of Andalusia, where he made a series of drawings of Holm oaks in the fall of last year. He crafted specific objects out of cork to went outside with his drawing materials. He created large chestnuts out of wood that show us the fruit of a natural process and connect with local and artisanal proud.
The past year, De Vos lived in the Antwerp suburbs and renovated two typical Flemish letterboxes into country retreats for town people who wish to flee the city during the weekends, in search of an idealized experience of rural Belgium.
To provide the exhibition with textual support, he invited the Irish artist Ella Deburca to write a pastoral poem that reflects on her life in rural Ireland.
During the opening, a performance by Joachim Badenhorst took place.
"The cows are the most social thing I see these days
They munch the grass in twos and threes
And stalk off to the milk parlour.
The slow part of my brain is practising stillness,
Diving under the wind and drinking the mist.
The fast part is still in the city, wolfing down coffee and algorithms.
I walk the fields and contemplate authors who wrote books walking fields and
Wonder why my brain hasn’t gotten there yet.
I am still an outsider because I haven’t learned to dance around conversation yet.
Like love making, it’s better to draw it out than to ask directly
How much, and when, and for how long.
Money is never mentioned.
Clocks are never clocked.
When the winds part and a neighbour meaders up the path to say a socially distanced hello
There are warm eyes, patient in a way not previously seen.
We shop at the same food shop and wear similar clothes because the weather dictates it.
Even the letterboxes are similar and we uphold certain traditions like
Always baking extra cookies for the neighbours and
Sharing some of the vegetable crop.
From time to time the farmers gather all the shit of the cows and spray it onto the fields
To help the grass to grow.
Then the cows come and eat the grass
Text: Ella Deburca