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Concept and artworks:
Masha van Vliet
Stedelijk Museum Breda
Beauty, mysticism and melancholy in Nick Drake’s world.
You Know I Am Not There is a line from the song Know by English singer-songwriter Nick Drake. He was well-known to a small circle of fans in his time and died in 1974 at the young age of 26. When visual artist Danielle Lemaire (NL) got to know Drake’s music and story she was enchanted. She traced his footsteps, immersed herself in his mystical view of the world, and sought contact with Nick Drake aficionados and fans. Her research and the resulting drawings are brought together in this publication.
In 2020, Nick Drake has achieved true cult status and is now seen as one of the most important singer-songwriters of the twentieth century. His music is a source of inspiration for pop greats such as Paul Weller, Norah Jones, and Sam Mendes and for well-known bands such as Coldplay, Snowpatrol and Radiohead. Many musicians have played covers of his songs. The three records he released are being rediscovered by a new audience again and again. The melancholy of his songs, his premature death and the very rare image and sound material gives his fans plenty of space to imagine the personality of Nick Drake for themselves. For many of them, Nick Drake personifies nostalgic longing for a lost life and a lost world.
Artist and musician Danielle Lemaire takes the reader with her on her personal exploration of Nick Drake and the beauty and meaning of his music. At the same time, she asks questions about the vulnerability of artists in their pursuit of authenticity, and about the tension between myth and reality. In her work she plays a sophisticated riff on presence and absence, on truth and fantasy.
Danielle Lemaire made a new series of drawings and music for the exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Breda. The drawings are presented in conjunction with letters, photos, moving images, online conversations with ‘Drakeheads’ (fans of Nick Drake) and documents about Nick Drake from her personal archive. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication in which her archive and drawings are brought together.
Danielle Lemaire creates drawings, paintings, photos, films, sound pieces, performances and installations. She also publishes books and releases vinyl records and CDs on her own label Inner Landscapes. Regardless of the medium, her work is created in a concentrated, sensitive and organic way, where the investment of time plays an important role. Lemaire delves into the history of a unique house, landscape or person; in her work the spirit of these entities becomes tangible. Her drawings are often composed of natural forms and lines and suggest a longing for a parallel world, which feels unknown and safe at the same time. In 2018 she started an in-depth study into musician Nick Drake. In 2020, the project consists of an extensive archive, a series of drawings and multiple autonomous works.