Lives in Antwerp, Belgium
How do you describe your own art practice?
I research the interaction between men and nature. Using traveling as a working method, I analyse the appropriation and symbolisation of nature. I try to look at how things really are, function and perform, by reconstructing them and seeing how many elements come together in for example a mountain, a palm tree. My practice is a balance act of applying myself to an environment, a landscape, and to make poetic deductions from that application. Through my work I introduce a number of templates from which this fieldwork is translated into a new patchwork of significations, in the form of text, mixed media installations, video or photography.
What was your first experience with art?
That must have been the moment when I was able to define things as art. I think I learned that by meeting other artists. At art school I met people who lived completely different than me, this gave me an enormous sense of freedom. I love the sensitiveness that artists can have and their ability to invent and define their own ways of living.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Traveling, hiking, books and art.
What do you need in order to create your work?
I am reading Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’. She writes that a woman must have money and a room of her own is she is to write. The last couple of years I have been moving around too much to have a studio. I work wherever I am now and that works fine for me so far. I am very curious though how a steady life or workplace would influence my work.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just came back from a trip and residency in China, followed by a residency in Switserland where I conducted a study into the influence of mountains on the human imagination. During my stay in Switserland I visited Furkart, a residency that took place until 1999 in the hotel Furkablick on a mountain pass at an altitude of 2,436m and because of the extreme weather conditions it is only accessible during four months in the summer. I was truly impressed and inspired by the location and it’s history (artists like Marina Abramović & Ulay, Daniel Buren, Jenny Holzer, Richard Long, Lawrence Weiner, Panamarenko went there) and felt a good connection with the person who takes care of it now. I wrote him a letter telling him about my research and my interest in the place and he ended up offering me a room and a studio there this summer.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
In China we visited a small Tibetan temple. It was quite late at night, the monks were counting their money after their shift. The temple was packed with images, most of them Tangka paintings. These paintings are used as a meditation tool, a map, to guide one further down the path to enlightenment. I was really amazed by these pictures, by the way color and perspective were used as well as by the feelings they evoked.