“Sorry? You were saying” is an art installation containing 2000 white apping glow in the dark garden gnomes, coffin, candles, funeral bouquet, sound effects. It was created by Edward Bernsteyn, the brain child of me, Bram Ellens, and provides the comfort (and rock star name) to create the art I want to bring into this world.

It took me over 1000 emails and 6 months through Alibaba to align with the production facility in China, and roughly one full day with a team of 6 people to set-up the installation. I won’t even go into the hassle with customs convincing them the content of the container was an art installation and no commercial trade (let alone, that the gnomes were not stuffed with cocaine). In my work I aim to bring a little wonder into peoples lives yet always blended with a dim, sometimes even grim undertone. My language is one of epic installations, which I realize supported by an extended team that provides expertise, production capacity and operational support.

This first installation in the ‘apping garden gnome series’ is about how we deal with big life-changing moments. At first glance the dark, silent hall with the coffin, burning candles and soft glowing crowd around it, gives the impression of a serene evening wake. Zooming in, you will quickly loose the impression of a mourning crowd and see the actual self-indulged individuals attending the funeral yet not being present with their heart and soul thereby avoiding life itself. “Sorry, you were saying” storms what is believed the last respectful offline fortress: death. However doing research on this topic, an astonishing 1/3 of people attending a funeral admitted to have taken a selfie.


The installation was privately financed by me through selling my 1981 Ferrari 308. And yes, that hurt. A lot. Trust me.

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Installation overview

Gnomes overview

Gnomes close-up

Gnomes close-up side