“The Rhythm of Life”

By Jan-Carel Koster

The Rhythm of Life

In short, with this sculpture Jan-Carel wants to indicate that every living being must determine their own rhythm by following their passion until something comes their way in which they see an opportunity. In this way, their rhythm in life is created, which makes life colorful and easier. It also makes life meaningful for many. Jan-Carel hopes this sculpture encourages reflection on this.

This sculpture stood in the World Trade Center in Dubai during ‘The Hotel Show’.

Technical Information

Material:  Spalted Beech
Origins:  The Netherlands
Height:  242 cm (incl plinth)

Jan-Carels blog about this sculpture

“In recent weeks I have finally been able to focus on making an autonomous work again. I have largely completed the assignments I had and put aside the assignments that I still have to complete so that, after more than a year and a half, I can play with the thoughts that I always carry with me. I had certain ideas and shapes in my head that I wanted to try out. For this I first made a small model from clay, after which I looked for a large piece of beech wood in my stock that met the sizes and requirements for this sculpture. (including base H. 2.42 meters).

It absolutely had to be beech because this type of wood has a fungal formation (called dormancy) that produces a beautiful pattern in the wood. Now this also occurs in birch and poplar, but that is truly ‘wind tree wood’. The drawing in the beech wood in combination with the shape and my thoughts about the subject of this sculpture had to be well coordinated. I wanted to make a large statue, not very large, but something in between, on a nice large pedestal. A sculpture that could represent my thoughts of this moment.

I did this by looking for a combination of the three aspects described above. It is known that the ‘rotting process’ of beech wood produces very beautiful drawings in the wood, sometimes they are like pen drawings that are beautiful to see in themselves. This in combination with the shape I had in mind made me think about things that happened and are still happening in my life.

In my opinion, this image also applies to everyone’s life, but because I live my life and you also live your own life, I naturally write down my experience behind the sculpture because this is an autonomous work.

The name of the image says it all in one small sentence; “The rhythm of life”.

This means to me that life in a certain flow has its own course. That things in a human life do not happen for nothing, but that it is up to the person what he does with them. Everyone has a choice to do things the way they want. And not everyone will agree with me on this, but I believe that there is always a choice to tackle something in a different way that brings out the positive. If you continue to do this with all things in your life (bringing the positive to the fore and pushing the negative to the back), at some point a kind of flow will arise in which many events can follow each other in a positive way. Even if there is a negative experience, it can still be explained in a positive way so that you can say afterwards that it could not have been any different than how it happened now.

I call this series of events in a human life “The Rhythm of Life”. I have depicted this for myself by creating a large flowing wave in which I have rhythmically carved out all kinds of small waves. To me, this means that all kinds of small events have consequences for creating the big picture. Every little positive thing in a person’s life has consequences for that person’s later life. And when you add up all those small positive aspects, it automatically becomes something big. So you have to make the choice in advance for yourself to create something positive from every small aspect that comes your way, so that the big aspects come to you automatically, through your own choice.

I also see the large shape in this sculpture as a positive wave in society that we can create ourselves, just as we ourselves maintain the economic crisis. We all think about this and believe in it because all the media and all people keep saying this. When more and more people start shouting that it is over and therefore express their positive thoughts about this, then there will be more and more people who accept this. Every small positive thought will create 1 big positive thought. Confidence in the economy will be restored and largely resolved.

I see this reflected in many things and I try to live my life this way, it is a choice I made for myself a long time ago. A choice that I hope can serve as an example for many others, especially young people who do not yet know which path to take. They are at the beginning of that journey in which they have to make the right choice to give their lives the right direction and set the right rhythm. This works best when you follow your feelings and do what your heart lies in, i.e. what you enjoy doing.

I will not tell everyone to do what you want, because then many people will not get anything done, because when I ask my 15-year-old son this, for example, he prefers to ‘chill’ with his friends. (whatever that means), I just call it hanging out on the street. But what I mean and want to convey is that if you have a passion for something, you should try to develop it. This does not happen from one day to the next, but if you believe in it yourself, something positive will automatically come from it.

That accumulation of positive things indicates the right rhythm in a human life. And it is precisely this rhythm that is important, just think of walking in a market where you are constantly hindered by many people. After being there for half an hour you are exhausted, while if, for example, you walk x number of times in a forest at your own pace, you are less tired. This shows that if you emphasize your own positive aspects in your life, you will have an easier time in life and will therefore give more color to society than if you get stuck in the pattern that society imposes on us (compare this with when you get stuck in a crowded market among all the crowd).

I have subtly depicted that color of society on all the small waves in the sculpture. Soft-colored, flowing lines can be found on various parts that, in combination with the drawing in the wood (the temple in the wood), should express the natural and the man-made. Nature provides the first guideline and together with a color we apply, something beautiful can be created. Nature is the guideline and I see the color as the small positive aspects of which we can choose to do something or not.”

rojo alicante

Spalted Beech wood

This wooden statue was made by Jan-Carel in a well-known native wood type, namely beech. It does look a little different than normal, but that is because there is a fungus in it, so-called “spalt”. Before you have beech wood that looks like this, it must first be ‘matured’. This takes several years before the wood is transformed and still workable.


Are you interested in having a bespoke artwork made for you? There is a wide variety of possibilities, from type of wood used, dimensions and personalizations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Jan-Carel to find out what’s possible.

Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster _ Wash-Basin 5


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