Hans Waanders (Netherlands) used and subverted scientific techniques: etymology, classification, archiving, comparison of specimens. Yet the obsessive, controlling impulse is the product of a sense of loss: a beautiful moment, remembered and sought after, opening out a lyrical narrative about memory and yearning.
Hans Waanders work is prefaced by a moment in real life, elevated to the status of a legend: On October the 4th 1982 Hans Waanders saw for the first time the kingfisher along the river Maas. From that moment collecting and working out information about this bird started. The tangible result of the longing to see the kingfisher again. This desire was played out during the years following, obsessively documenting the kingfisher. Like the best detective stories, Waanders allowed himself to become obsessed with the idea of getting under the skin of his prey. The more perfect his know-ledge, and the closer his identification, the closer he believed he could get. (quotation Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; For Once, Then, Something, 2001)
Upon his demise in 2001 Hans Waanders left behind an oeuvre of inestimable value. His estate is a universe on its own, an admirable and miraculous attempt to appropriate the kingfishers life. He published more than 200 books, many prints, countless stamps and multiples. It has been his wish to continue showing and offering his work to the world.