The Apples are Mine


The Apples are Mine is a body of work exploring myths and symbolism of the apple in relation to art history, religion, identity, sexuality and technology.

A wide range of approaches and forms were explored, including print multiple, 3-D paper construction, newspaper design, time-based media, alternative photographic processes and digital photographic print, each of the works supporting and informing one another. For the triptychThe Apples Are Mine – Four Apples, Eight Apples and Fifteen Apples, wild British crab apples are placed over a reproduction on canvas of a sunflowers painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (Fifteen Sunflowers [F454], 1888). The work explores my experience as a Dutch man living in the UK for over three decades, using British apples to convey the impact of British life, culture and friendship on my identity.

The Apples Are Mine, Sunflowers, Roelof Bakker, Vincent van Gogh

‘The Apples Are Mine, Eight Apples’ and ‘The Apples Are Mine, Fifteen Apples’, 21cm x 28cm, C-type print, Fuji Matt

Once turned upside down, an apple fixed to a branch becomes an apple on a cross, going against gravity, against the grain, becoming a symbol of anyone daring to be different. To match its content, a queer process mixing digital and analogue methods, was implemented until Forbidden Fruit became a hand-printed salt print, wild brush strokes adding to its physical uniqueness.

In paintings of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, apples are always on the branches of trees. Instead, in Garden of Eden I and Garden of Eden II, dropped, decaying apples were recorded lying in the undergrowth at The Orchard in Grantchester, a place where many great minds have met, as a symbol of the decay of intelligent debate and the failings of democracy.


Garden of Eden I, Roelof Bakker, The Apples are Mine

‘Garden of Eden I’, 42cm x 59.4cm, Giclée print, Hahnemühle Pearl


‘Forbidden Fruit’, Salt print, Arches Platine, 20cm x 27cm