Over a period of more than 12 years Carlijn Mens has made the shadow the most important subject in her oeuvre. The shadow interests Carlijn even more than the 'original' and certainly when the light source is the sun, the shadow will move along with the sun and this movement is something the artist makes stunningly visible on the paper. She has to work fast in order to set down in charcoal the shadows of tree or plant; to fix, as it were, the motion.
The woods and dunes at Schoorl, her local area until recently, have been 'portrayed' by her in this way. The devastating forest fires a few years ago have left their mark - and shadows. Carlijn has recorded them in her series ‘Preserved Places’. She has also done this at the request of fellow artist herman de vries, one of the original Zero artists, in his own biotope of the Steigerwald in Franconia, Germany.