Dear madam, dear sir,

My name is Ief Spincemaille. I’m a visual artist. On 22 September, on my way to work, I drove past your maize field. I stopped, looked around to make sure no one saw me and cut three stalks with a knife I had in my car. It had everything of a passionate act. Impulsive, illegal and carried out from a white van.

I explain you why I did this.... I am currently working on a project where I make images of plants, and for these images I use only the raw material of these plants. I scoop paper from the leaves and I make ink from the hard parts.

The image is then printed with the ink of the plant on paper of the plant. The result is an 'Image that was a plant'!

I always make a small version of this image for the owner of the plant. In this letter you will find a small image made on paper from your maize, printed with ink from your maize.

It also includes a bag of maize from the three ears of corn. I did not use those. So making an image of your maize did not affect your yield.

If you can't do anything with the image, or want to tell me something about what I did, you can always write back to me.

Kind regards,



With ‘Image that was a plant’, I look for plants that can tell a story. During a stay of several weeks in a neighborhood/community/organisation, I make contact with residents and passers-by, and look for possible plants. In consultation with the owner, I use (a piece) of the plant to make an image of it. And this made exclusively with the material of the depicted plant. I build a temporary studio in the local community, and make paper from the leaves, and ink from the hard parts. The image is printed with a pen plotter using ink from the plant on paper from this piece of plant.

Small versions of the images I donate to the owners of the plants, large version I take home. Small handmade booklets briefly report on the realised technical and social connections. With Image that was a plant I try to embed myself temporary in local communities and establish connections between objects, people and plants.


Ief Spincemaille - Jacob Schoolmeesters - Bout De Beul - Pierre Corric
A production of Werktank