The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Philip Larkin. 2 Juni 1967

Astri Blokbergen

After initially studying psychology, the artistic side of Astri Blokbergen increasingly gained ground. As a full niece of one of the most pre-eminent sculptors of Scandinavia, Ambrosia Tønnesen, perhaps this was meant to be. After all, an artist isn’t made, an artist is born. As of 1997, Astri decided to fully commit herself to sculpting. The self-taught Astri improved her techniques at several renowned institutions and artists, including the Gooische Academie situated in Laren under the guidance of sculptor Janco Berman and the Italian Kyle Smith Artspace in Pietrasanta.

In the meanwhile Astri developed into an all-round sculptor, creating a whole range of different subjects and using multiple materials and techniques. She works with bronze and stone. As an artist, Astri gets inspired mainly by the classical principles like the beauty of nature and the anatomy of both man and animal. Emotionally charged sculptures with seeming simplicity are what characterize the work of Astri Blokbergen.


The Series ‘Trees’

A series of fascinating dreams are what inspired me to create my bronze trees. These trees make me think of symbolism and vitality. Giving shape to these thoughts is what makes me feel like being connected with nature. The vitality and solidity that I meant to express are mainly symbolized in the pronounced roots of the tree. Contrary to these sturdy roots the many branches of the tree appear very fragile. This contrast, between strength and vulnerability, is what I took as a starting point. Because a right balance between these two is valuable for me in life. Every tree is a new story. Every tree is unique. The tree of life is different for everyone.

Astri Blokbergen