By Lieneke Hulshof

Centuries after the Arabian quest in search of the Philosopher's Stone, Frank Ammerlaan made the installation Moonless, which can be regarded as a metaphor for what the ancient alchemists actually wanted: to change ordinary materials into gold. This wasn't a desire for material possessions, but to experience a transformation in nature that would also transform them to a higher state of being. Ammerlaan’s swirling steel plates have been treated in twenty different trays containing chemicals. The colours of the processed steel appear and disappear as you walk past, like iridescent oil stains floating on a water’s dark surface after a shipwreck. Ammerlaan portrays that which is transient and short-lived, as seen from the corner of one’s eye.