| NEWS | work | about + contact | home |


Karola Pezarro & Aris de Bakker

ECHO OF BADANGA Sowing Seeds invited us (duo Akunzo) and sixteen artists from all over the world and also artists from India for an Artist in Residence in Badanga, Udaipur, India. The purpose was to connect you as an artist with the local culture, people, materials and crafts. We were invited because our work is visually responsive to the environment and we are interested in local customs and skills. We are very happy to have been given this opportunity! For Sowing Seeds, we worked with bamboo, textiles, wire, and stones. We built a work that can be understood in several ways: as a connection between earth and sky, as the interior of a temple, as the figure of a woman... On the wide lower form there are three smaller forms. They represent the full moon, the crescent moon and the stars. The work is brought in a procession to the place under the big tree near the school. The work was made especially for this place and echoes the encounter with India.


WORKING TOGETHER Since 2014 we work as a duo under the name AKUNZO. We have been realizing ephemeral, site-specific projects in the Netherlands, but especially abroad. Now we present our work at Pulchri Studio in The Hague, our hometown, through videos, a construction in a lacework of branches, and a special collaborative project with bees.
This summer, we conducted experiments with a group of bees based on the principle of the "cadavre exquis". One person started a wax sculpture, the other built on it, and finally the third party, the bees, finished the work. The process of making these sculptures took place without words, without knowing what the other was going to do. In Pulchri's Garden Gallery the small wax works are exhibited together with film footage of the bees.
16 december 2023 - 16 januari 2024 Pulchri Studio, Voorhout, The Hague, The Netherlands.


L'OBSERVATOIRE During the Artist-in-Residence in Beaulieu-lès-Loches, we made the work L'Observatoire in ‘Les Prairies du Roi’. These are the wet soils of Beaulieu-lès-Loches. The in situ artwork looks like a huge vase woven in a lace of branches. Visitors can enter, sit down or lie down on the wooden bench and look at the sky. Inside, in this open space, they experience a sacred and serene atmosphere. Sunlight is filtered through the tissue of branches. The organic lace-like structure can be interpreted as an ode to nature. Bird's nest, cocoon, chrysalis... The Observatory reminds us of  constructions made by birds or insects to protect and start a new cycle of life. It's a contemplative place for a moment of reflection and experience in connection with the universe. Beaux Lieux 2023, Beaulieu-lès-Loches, France.


EVERYTHING FLOWS The term Panta Rhei comes from the Greek philosopher Herakleitos. Among other things, it uses the symbolism of a stream: you can't enter the same stream twice. In the forest stands a large amphora (a classic jar in which liquid can be stored) with its opening towards the stream. The amphora refers to the idea that everything on earth is always in motion: everything is constantly changing, in other words: everything flows. The work speaks in the same time about the availability of water for all, of the conservation of this rare and precious resource, and refers to the fragile state of our planet. Sentier Art Nature Gorneton 2023, Chasse sur Rhône, France.


LE NUAGE DE LA PENSEE For LandArt Festival Le Tacot Voyage Ephémère of Rontalon (near Lyon) we made, right on the spot, Le Nuage de la Pensée, a work about protecting the free space that is needed to develop new ideas, to be able to use your imagination, to be able to play. After all, play is the basis of creative development, of culture. Hikers discover an enigmatic work of art in the forest. A curious object floats in a spherical outer shape, made of a lacework of branches. The protective outer shape can be understood as a reference to nature, our globe, the cells from which we are made, the female breast, life. The cloud-shaped object inside refers to free fantasy and imagination. Le Tacot Voyage Ephémère 2023, Rontalon, France.


OXYGEN At the end of our Residency in Bernheim, at Colorfest, we asked visitors of the forest to write or draw their thoughts and wishes about their relationship with nature on canvas tags. The tags are temporarily attached to the installation. Watch the video (00:24) to see (and to hear) the tags moving in the wind.

OXYGEN We made the work OXYGEN during the Artist in Residence in Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Kentucky, VS.
Visitors say : … “I see someone gazing at the stars” … “someone is singing in the forest” … “a basket full of breath” … “someone is coming out of the earth” … “it has a connotation to the last words of George Floyd - I can’t breath -“ …
“it is a metaphor for the community, one branch may be week, many branches together are strong” … “someone just breathing, you see de the nose and the open mouth” …


DE WATERDRAAGSTER The artist duo AKUNZO created ‘De waterdraagster’ (She who carries water) for Landgoed Quadenoord, Veluwe, The Netherlands, as part of the Woest & Bijster festival. The artwork is located in a dry stream bordered by tall beech trees, as if in a natural cathedral. ‘De waterdraagster’ refers to the precarious water situation here and elsewhere in the world. The artwork is woven as a transparent lace with branches of beech and American oak, which are collected on site.


PRECIOUS Last weeks we made PRECIOUS for Aselart in Mazcuerras, Cantabria, Spain. PRECIOUS is about the value and beauty of nature, about transience and eternity. The artwork, shaped like a vase in an organic lace-like weave of branches, is made on the site around a newly planted taxus (yew) tree, a symbol for eternity. The sculpture highlights the tree as nature-element and protects it. As the years go by, the taxus tree will grow and the artwork will disappear.


IN TRANSIT II We titled the work IN TRANSIT, not knowing that it would also go through transitions itself. Leaves grew. That was magical. Last week we moved IN TRANSIT from Lac Trégu to the wetlands in La Gacilly, also in Bretagne, France. The rough grassy and swampy environment creates a new atmosphere and a new story. In the words of Phlippe Lérestif, president of Etangs d’art: “The Yves Rocher Foundation gives us the honor of inviting two artists: Aris de Bakker and Karola Pezarro. They present IN TRANSIT (originally commissioned by Etangs d’art in 2021) in the wet area nearby the heart of the village of La Gacilly."


RESERVOIR Somewhere on the edge of Girona's old town, you can descend via a stone staircase to a small plateau on which there is a large jug-like object. Next to it, water drips from the rock (Font d’en Pericot) and a little below flows a stream. At least in winter season. The object, the artwork RESERVOIR, looks like a jar, a container for water, with an arched opening at the top, but at the same time it is transparent like lace, because it is woven from hazel branches. Water would seep through. RESERVOIR is about the availability of water for everyone, about preserving what is valuable and refers to the fragile situation of our planet in these issues. RESERVOIR was made for Art & Gavarres on site by the Dutch artist duo AKUNZO.

RESERVOIR Work in progress.


EN ROUTE A Wolf carries the Planet on his back and runs forward. Like this Wolf, we are all on the way. The question is: where to, what is our destination and what do we do along our way? How do we relate to the Planet in the meantime? En route is made right on the spot by AKUNZO using hazelnut branches. Léz’Arts en Adret, Hautecour, Savoie, France.


DER SCHUTZPATRON - the patron saint. The old post road through the steep Twingi gorge (between Ernen and Binn, Zwitserland) meanders along the slope. Along the road you will discover various memorials of people who died here. For hikers and walkers here and elsewhere Akunzo made Der Schutzpatron, to protect us all on our way.
The historical connection between Ernen and Binn is now the venue for an annual exhibition - Twingi Landart - of contemporary artists. With their works they refer to the landscape.
Video 53sec.


IN TRANSIT For the first time we made a work on water in a small lake in Bretagne, France. We get the fanastic reflection as a gift.
In Lake Trégu in Brocéliande, a feather-light boat floats just above the surface of the water. A creature resembling a wolf or a dog waits in the boat. Is it the ferryman who carries souls across? Do animal, boat and water refer to stories, such as the myth of Ys, the Breton city that disappeared under water? Brocéliande is a region in Bretagne that is a breeding ground for all kinds of myths and stories. Akunzo hopes this work will give rise to new stories.
IN TRANSIT is exhibited during Etangs d'Art 2021. Evert year, Etangs d'Arts is organized on several lakes.
Video 45sec.


Six years ago, Aris and I started - as an experiment - our collaboration (AKUNZO) to design and implement temporary art-in-nature projects. We then send project proposals to places in Europe and beyond every autumn. We would like to share with you the booklet about Akunzo projects that we have been able to realize in recent years.


The Korean Nature Artists’ Association Yatoo | Guemgang Nature Art Biennale selected our video TAKE A MOMENT for the Nature Art Video Exhibition 2020 in the Yeonmisan Nature Art Park, Korea.


TADITADATADI Le Parcours des Fées 2020, Crévoux, France. We are very happy that we could realize this work this summer!

TADITADATADI is inspired by the book Homo Ludens that the Dutch historian Huizinga wrote eighty years ago, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. His book is an ode to freedom. Only in freedom can play unfold and culture develop. Huizinga assumed that people are ‘homo ludens’, people who play. From this idea comes the basic thought that everything we call ‘culture’ comes out of play and also develops in a playful way. When the playing ability comes under pressure, the whole culture is under pressure. TADITADATADI challenges people to play together, experience space, see nature in different ways, listen to nature, make sounds and sing, throw or roll a ball, photograph each other through the funnel and to hide in, behind or under the artwork.

Short video about TADITADATADI. Turn on the sound!


UNE VUE DE RÊVE is situated on the border of the Gironde, in France. The visitor can lean against one of the legs of the zeppelin-like shape (built from branches that have been harvested on site) looking at the landscape and the water, simply contemplating. Sentier des Arts 2019, Royan Atlantique, Le Pôle-Nature, Vitrezay.

This short film (00:57min.) shows the beautiful border of the Gironde and the changing colors during the day.


ECHO OF THE DESERT we had the special opportunity to participate in the Tankwa Artscape Residency in the Tankwa Desert in South Africa. It was a wonderful and educational experience for us to work with what a raw landscape has to offer, in order not to disturb the place, but to reinforce the boned poetry of it.

With soundartist Quentin Green we created a soundscape in our installation. You can hear it in the video of two minutes about the work in Tankwa. So turn on the sound!


LA GRANDE DAME we just finished the work for Vign’Art 2019 (Festival d’art dans le vignoble Champenois) in Cuis, France. Hope you enjoy this one minute film, to see and feel the work and the site.


'FAVORITE OF THE PUBLIC 2018' for the work we made for HORIZONS-SANCY: 'L'oeuvre coup de coeur du public 2018 est TAKE A MOMENT, réalisée par Karola Pezarro et Aris de Bakker. Une oeuvre dans la tradition du Land Art, réalisée avec des branches de noisetier prélevées à proximité, bravo à Karola et Aris!'

TAKE A MOMENT a work by AKUNZO for Horizons Arts - Nature en Sancy, France, is an ode to the stream in Entraigues. The work appears as a romantic piece of lace or a canopy suspended above the stream. Karola Pezarro and Aris de Bakker created the installation using branches of hazel gathered near the site. In this land art process, the two Dutch artists wove the elements together on the spot. Here, the artistic creation is perceived through and within the medium of nature. The site of the installation thus becomes the subject and compels environment-friendliness. Take a moment thereby endeavours to express the spirit of the place, prompting ramblers to reflect.


INTERSECTION a work of Akunzo (Karola Pezarro & Aris de Bakker) consists of four covered passages which come together in a chapellike form right on the crossing of two paths. The installation is made of living willow branches. The hiker will enter the work in order to continue his promenade. Art trails in The Great Outdoors, in Condrez-Famenne, Belgium 2017.


INTERSEZIONE DELLA VITA a work of Akunzo for LandArtProject SNIJPUNT in Ameland, an isle of the Netherlands. On top of the dunes Akunzo created with branches a lacelike chapel with a view. While watching the stunning surroundings one hears the tinkling sound of shells.


CREATURE OF THE WOODS LOOKING WHERE TO GO Akunzo made this work for L'Art est dans les Bois 2016 in Pleslin-Trigavou, France. The mirrors on the back of the creature - that is standing on a crossing - are reflecting the light, the trees, the sky and passers-by.


OU SE TROUVE LE PETIT CHAPERON ROUGE? is a work by Akunzo for Artistes en Campagne, Savins, France. We are very happy to have received the 'Prix Land Art 2015' for this work! Enjoy this film of 40 seconds!

Ou se trouve le petit Chaperon Rouge from karola pezarro on Vimeo.

OU SE TROUVE LE PETIT CHAPERON ROUGE? Pezarro and De Bakker (Akunzo) have made their work Where is Little Red Riding Hood? on site. They "wove" a cocoon of more than three meters in length from hazel branches. The wall of the cocoon is slightly transparent. The visitor sees a silhouette of a creature lurking inside. At the opening of the cocoon a bundle of red wires flows outward. The bundle of red wires leads to an animal inside with yellow reflector eyes looking out (the wolf?). The title of the work is formulated as a question. Almost everyone knows the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. But do we truly understand the significance of the story? What meanings are concealed? Are the red wires referring to the clothing of Little Red Riding Hood or to blood? Is the wolf cruel or are we, humans, acting cruelly with wolves and with nature? Was ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ eaten by the wolf? Is the wolf trapped? The work ‘Where is Little Red Riding Hood?’ surely excites the imagination of the viewers. On June 14, 2015 the prize for the best Land Art work of the festival Des Artistes En Campagne in the French village Savins was awarded to the Dutch artist duo AKUNZO.


ODE TO THE DRAFT HORSE | ODE AU CHEVAL DE TRAIT Akunzo (De Bakker and Pezarro) built the work Ode to the draft horse during the festival La Fete de Mai, Gesves, Belgium. The village Gesves is famous for its horses, particularly the draft horse. The villagers used these horses to remove enormous tree trunks. Ode to the draft horse consists of stacked logs of larch in two rows of two meters high. Together they form a narrow corridor, which is more open and circular in the center. In this circular space (where one can smell the recently cut lumber) they placed at the ends of the logs soft horse’s tails made of colorful threads of jute and sisal. The artwork is built along a narrow path that is covered with a canopy of trees and shrubs and runs between wheat and rapeseed fields. Every hiker walking on the trail must pass through this sculpture.


AT HOME An installation for Open Sites | Art Terre 2014, Ploegsteert, Belgium.
Everywhere and in all circumstances, man is trying to create his own place. The installation At Home is inspired by a photograph of men playing cards on a table in a trench during the first world war. A strange domestic scene. The spiral-shaped structure in the form of a snail shell is made of bricks and clay. The building is two meters high. The exterior is rough and hermetic. Inside, one discovers a scene of everyday life, a place for human life. On the wall are frames with pictures and a painting. Against the wall one can see a table and a chair. On the table a dish, a spoon, a pair of glasses and an open book are ranked. All of these prior known articles are covered with a thin layer of beeswax. The wall is covered with a clay layer. In the clay seed pods of poppies are pressed.

Picture by Bernard Lepercq