Journey abroad gives artist new inspiration

Journey abroad gives artist new inspiration

By Chris Brook

With scraps of cut-up paper littering the floor and several studio lamps illuminating the room, Harmen Liemburg hunches over a Formica worktable.

His office, smelling of freshly brewed coffee, is a modestly-sized nook adjoined to the Mac lab on the fourth floor of Ryder Hall. There’s a large computer monitor, stacks of books and a black fur-lined parka slung over a desk chair in the corner. The room is small, but he says it’s all the space he needs.

On this recent Tuesday night, Liemburg, dressed in a denim cowboy shirt, olive slacks and a Northeastern lanyard draped around his neck, is cutting fine lines into paper.

Eyes focused, he is meticulously slicing the heavy black construction paper into letters, branches, owls and familiar icons from the Boston skyline. These pieces, once precisely chopped up, intricately pieced together and mounted on the proper machinery will ultimately form a future project or silkscreen poster.

After paper cutting, mounting them on film, and letting them dry overnight, the process can take weeks to complete. Liemburg’s last project, “Offshore (A Tip Of The Liemberg…)” was influenced by the familiar designs that Liemburg discovered in day-to-day life.

For example, the knotted blue rope around the edge of the poster was found on a bag of frozen cod from the Shaw’s freezer section. Elsewhere, Liemburg found the pop-art image of a girl from a bag of potato chips, Utz. He also found photos of a sign with seagulls on it he once photographed in San Francisco. He integrated all the elements into various screen prints.

Like many artists, Liemburg claims that his art is a result of his experiences.

Liemburg takes that idea one step further.

By putting found objects directly into his art, he forms a visual cacophony of his diverse experiences.

They are unified only by his inquiring mind.

“I recently watched a TV miniseries called ‘Into the West,’ an epic historical drama with a lot of [artistic] qualities,” he said. “And in L.A., I visited the great Western Heritage Museum

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