Contrary to what is generally accepted, the work of Wim van Tol (born 1947) is abstract whilst at the same time being realistic. In creating these environments, he uses both components simultaneously as being of the same culture. According to van Tol they also need to be astatically compatible. As a result, his creations are thought not to be typical of existing art or "isme".
He reasons: " Basically, falling short of these "isms" I need to strictly constrain myself, otherwise all meaning is lost. In this regard, when I started the process of shaping flint I soon realised the need to create my own boundaries within a framework that would bring them together. This reasoning also applies to the choice of stone to be used - being predominantly of limestone, marble and bluestone with the intention of reinforcing its ancient nature."
"To classify my work in its totality and under one "ism", I would call it "Votifrealism". In fact, such environments and the equipment, which I am composing, consist of votif-artifacts of an undescribed culture and in an untraceable period. They express the feelings of a kind of religious culture comprising its threats, rejections, obedience and gratitude. Because of this, I am able to sensibly place my environments both in a museum as well as in any kind of landscape where the viewer is exposed to a type of challenge." "When I see a particular item of my creation in the room of an individual collector, then I no longer recognise this as an autonomous piece of art but rather as part of a collection. "

Drs Bert Honders
General editor " Kunstwerk"

Translation and interpretation from an original Dutch script by: Viktor &Tony - Burgt Odenhausen Translators / Germany




Although the major part of the works of Wim van Tol consists of stone sculptures, he is certainly not afraid of using iron, bronze and other materials for his creations.

In shaping his creations for both inside and outside exposure, it is characteristic of the way in which Wim van Tol works that he uses his particular sculptures in an ever changing although limited context, for instance in his installation of the carriage of the Commander. There lays a lime stone sculpture, prominently revealing strongly wrapped remains of a human being, placed on an oak carriage with iron wheels. In addition, the carriage is equipped with iron pins, a prominently upright lance with a threatening shaft made from steel, also revealing zinc and ropes, in this contraption.
Several lime stone sculptures placed separately near the carriage as well as an obscurely painted zinc artefact corresponding with similar lime stone objects thus completing an obviously archaeological inspired atmosphere.

These were prominently exhibited in the Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam in 1989, in which his entire installation "Dawn unto Sunset" was shown. The exhibition was extended by three weeks in view of its unexpected success and resulted in a similar exhibition in San Francisco/USA (parts of this exhibit were newly purchased works)
Derived from the "Dawn unto Sunset" concept, a selection of his works was shown in 1992 at the "De Hazelaar" Gallery in Soest/The Netherlands by exposing simultaneously the exterior object "Cultural Place" (comprising several groups of sculptures in bluestone and lime stone) as well as the interior object "the carriage of the Commander". In particular, the carriage, the main sculpture of this installation, was specifically made for this occasion.
A similar, but slightly modified layout of the exhibition was realised by Wim van Tol in 1994 in the sculpture garden of "Kunstzaal De Hoge Hees" at Eersel, whilst a reduced format was produced in 1996 in the Gallery "De Twee Pauwen" /The Hague showing a smaller design of "The carriage of the Judge ".

Smaller groups of limestones are placed around a monumental clan sculpture. All of these stone sculptures contain ancient rune symbols as well as rune-scripts. The bronze head of an ancient warrior of an undefined race is elevated thus overlooking the area of the Occident. This head of an undefined era is spitting into an overflow made from bronze which, in turn, is releasing the liquid with a calming sound into a pond, that is surrounded by a string of limestones.

During the last few years, van Tol has also been adding new elements from nature (wild flora) to his creations, which were made in combination with a specific water fountain for a private collector in The Netherlands.
The main fountain, along with the adjacent stones are surrounded - together with the pond itself - by carefully selected vegetation from moorland, climbing plants and grasses. Van Tol is also consciously using selected moss-implants, spores and fertilizers with the aim of showing the impact of time on lime stone, thus integrating a sense of the passing of time in his work.

Of special added value to this exterior installation is the fact that this clan fountain is consciously placed above a so-called "lay-line" and that the eternally circulating water is an integral part of the whole installation, deriving from a dedicated natural source. These features are inherently in line with the specifics of his objective, this being the creation of a votif-realistic artefact with water from an established well in relation to the given lay-lines.

Mr. A. Ego

Laren NH - 2003

Translation and interpretation from an original Dutch script by: Viktor &Tony - Burgt Odenhausen Translators / Germany




Estrangement - evoking a world of Associations - rules the art & craft of Wim van Tol (b. 1947 in Utrecht).By invitation he Has exhibited in the Allard Pierson Museum of Amsterdam.

In the hall of this Archeological Museum in the University of Amsterdam (Oude Turfmarkt 127 - 1012 CG Amsterdam) he featured a collection of his archeologically-inspired sculptures.

This collection of artefacts are coherent and of the same origin and culture:
featured in HIS Avalon - an Avalon comprising the so-called ancient Europe, where Runes & Ogam were commonplace. Figurative images & abstract elements appear in logical context.

"Dawn unto Sunset" in Avalon is the name of his chosen creation.
Exagerated lances, strangely shaped, but nevertheless easily recognisable are witness to a possible ancient culture.The pointed head of the weapon with its wrapped around appearance has been cut in cool white stone. With the skill of a master mason, he has created dog-like animals, human skulls with -again- wrappings.

A civilisation carved from stone thus evolves: mummy-like objects in concealed bundles suggesting something of their hidden content. How old may these sculptures be and could they be found in an archeological museum?
The height of the frontespiece is remarkable with the eyeholes heavily arched. Are these really human remains or do they just give the impression of being humanlike - or instead from homanöids? Some portraits are carved in stone with inscrutable facial features.Where do these creatures belong to, a different system with different gods and cultures?

Rune-like hieroglyphs - carved in the smooth surface of some of these sculptures - lead one to think of Egypt. The culture that is presented to us here comes seemingly from an ancient and complex hidden past which is only alive , like all cultures , due to the fact that its roots must have been deeply embedded in an earlier history.

Mummies of a warlord and of a strange mythological beast , both heavily chained to their smooth stones are the inhabitants of a world created by Wim van Tol.The warrior, his visor down, is as closed unto himself as are the indeterminable animals and humanöids. This mystrious civilisation is protected by beastlike guardians, curled around themselves. These guardians are probably not so bad with their smooth skin inviting a tender stroke.

This is, of course, only an impression as are the portraits, which let you question the nature of that which is represented.

A discus-like shape, once broken but yet put together again using iron cramps, gives the impression that their restoration, after breaking, is much more important than the visible repair itself. Wim van Tol himself called it "The restored tablet of the holy covenant". This work is of a technically superior standard due to van Tol's training as a skilled stone mason.

Though the potential of different types of stone have been entirely utilised, its perfection is but a way, a tool, which van Tol calles his "Votif Realism" given its shape. These sculptures will determine that life continues happily thus given the harmony of van Tol's imaginary civilisation devoted to the gods.This is why the closed stone doors - made with perfection - are taken for granted and being the least the gods may demand of this matter. Wim van Tol's sculptures are a testamony of contact with powers that rules the unexplainable, They ward off fear and make death more acceptable which is, perhaps, even an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Van Tol as an artist risks playing with civilisations and cultures without drifting into archeological fantasies.

To him, as to many others, these archeological fragments are certainly not an unimportant remains of a culture. According to him one should watch over them with the same intensity as with any other expression of contemporary art, in whatever form.


Prof. Dr . Robert A. Lunsingh Scheurleer

Conservator Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam


Translation and interpretation from an original Dutch script by: Viktor &Tony - Burgt Odenhausen Translators / Germany