I was born in Bree (Belgium). After secondary school in Hasselt I moved to Ghent (Belgium), a hotbed of creativity. Here I could thrive. I enrolled at the KASK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) and chose the sculpture department. I entered the class of artist Paul Van Gysegem. There I worked mainly in metal, clay, plaster and polyester. A very fine time. It was a privilege to study at the KASK where students were stimulated to tap into their own creativity. For me, as an artist, it is very important to keep on observing people: an endless source of inspiration. I consider this as being part of my artistic activity. My great interest in humanity makes that my commitment to forces and counter forces, right and wrong, is more socially determined.
My work is the result of diverse interactions with newspapers. I recycle (renew) them, I adapt articles and make them my own (often with paint). The playful interaction with the written text and/or the pictures of the newspaper from the beginning became part of a more all-embracing artistic practice. At the start it was a purely 2- dimensional process, but it gradually became 3-dimentional by crumpling up the pages from the newspapers. The colouring and discolouring of the static pictures combined with the lay-out of text typography and photography creates a whole that emerges from a confused/diffused cocktail to a tight, smooth new image.
The original item from the newspaper gains a new dimension through my manipulations. The newspaper is deformed, waving and creasing. This way the instantaneous incidence of light becomes a part of my work. The newspaper is repainted, creased and positioned. This piece is placed in a shoe box. And the shoe box is placed in a wooden box (box-in-box).
In the presented work I want to look more closely at the relationship between artistic expression and society. Therefore I invited Ella to create a discourse concerning my work. Ella’s native language is French, but she also uses English, Dutch and Chinese. The tension of the work is related to the violation of the human rights and more specifically towards transsexuality.
We often hear cases in the news media of discrimination from one citizen to another. But we rarely hear anything about discrimination (from authorities) towards transgenders.
Together we try to realize a symbiosis about the freedom of expression. I let myself float on her experience and she was inspired by my visual language. This way it became a new newspaper but also a more intimate one. Through our cooperation arose not only a pictorial and plastic (artistic) newspaper but also a newspaper full of tensions. Between the freedom of the word and the closed nature of the boxes. Between the explicit delineated statement and the brusque, meandering bursting lines and figures. Between the fleeting items in the newspaper and the more solid printed pamphlet, such as that of the text by Ella.
The work exists of 11 boxes and each box is linked to the other. Together they aim towards a dramatic culmination/zenith or a turn of events.
The choice for this lay-out in Photoshop reinforces above all the inappropriate connection between text and image. This way the rigidness of Ella’s texts creates a restriction and liberation of the capriciousness of the plastic element.