Beginning of this month, ‘Salalah Tourism Festival’ in Salalah-Dhofar, in the south of the Sultanate of Oman closed his doors. Forty days long ‘Art, Culture and Music’ attracted visitors from all over the GCC and the rest of the world. The colourful and vibrant festival coincided with the Omani Renaissance Day. On 23 of July 1970, the current leader Sultan Qaboos started with the modernization of the country.
Yesterday, in La Roche-en-Ardenne, my hometown in the French part of Belgium, ‘Le festival BAM’ also came to an end. During the second edition of this annual festival, the vibrant program, coincided with ‘Think Pink,’ and there Belgium Breast Cancer awareness campaign.
Ten days long, sixty national and international artists exhibited their works all over the town. Street-acts, performances, lectures, poetry ….were programmed. The message of ‘Michel Defays’, the organizer of the Festival together with about twelve volunteers was very clear. ‘Art, Culture, Music’ are part of the daily life, will causes talks, and has to be visible in the streets.
Moreover, 50 pots made in ‘Grès de La Roche’ the traditional pottery style and up dressed by participating artists were auctioned to support the Belgium Breast Cancer awareness campaign. Still on the internet this Art Project for a good cause is running, the extra ordinary pots can still be purchased. I went around and made my own choice.
‘Anne Geradin’ is wild of knots. But the knots she makes with branches of hazelnut trees are not made to fastening or securing material. In her work, she unravel the cords of the knots to bring them to a higher level….even to outerspace….After working with other materials such as clay she is convinced that the material she uses now suites her the best to move on with her dream…Art Installation… “Sculptures where people can go inside for a broader sensory experience.” I am waiting for an invitation….
In the latest works of ‘Oskar G.’ flowing and rhythmical coloured lines defines the composition that will take place. The colour and form decision relay totally on intuition and is part of a very natural flowing. “It is totally the opposite of my former works. After my illness ten years ago, discipline was important, and was reflected in my work mainly based on strict geometric coloured forms. Now it are the lines and colours who take me on an unexpected journey, I am doing what I really love.”
‘Anaid Ferte’s’ fragile women figures in textile -her little dolls – appeals on femininity and in the same time raises questions about femininity…A question that keeps the artist busy…that let her experiment with several materials as ceramics, gravures, prints of gravures on chiffon, with textile, that let her create morphologic figures, that let her read and re-read the book ‘Women who run with wolves…from author and analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It was her art who put her on the way to become midwive…”Femininity in society is wrong interpreted, and doesn’t go to the basic meaning….the inner self, the creation, ‘la boucle est bouclée,’to come ‘full circle’”…Ainad dreams to tell more about the thoughts she have in bigger Art Installations…
Today we are caught up in a culture of doing, of absorbing, that we forget to sit down and to reflect. The Art Installation of ‘Murielle Noiset’ and ‘Francis Dupont’ is such a moment. First, to look at the composition, one had to go down to a cellar, a former night club bar… so down to the earth. Secondly, the tools used to express their feelings towards situations of today’s world are traffic signs decorated with coloured broidery fiber, lighted up by neon light. The traffic signs depict the cycle of life, the earth, the animals, the humans ….together with the video installation it let you examine your own thoughts or feelings…and let you question yourself…’What is the impact of my behaviour on all this…. ‘
Talking with ‘Thomas Corbisier’ about his artistic work is an invitation to face the impermanence of the world, to accept it and to live better … it’s a work of resilience. The tool to realize this concept is paper, pigments and materials to create texture, to form impressions… Sometimes he accumulates material, sometimes he let outlines of drawings or collages appear or hide…at the end it is his way to deal with the reality of impermanence.
Sometimes we need the eye of the artist to let us see through the things that happen in front of us. The photographs of ‘Michele Maquet’ taken in the woods of the Sonian Forest, a forest that lies at the south-eastern edge of Brussels, invites us to look what is behind the reality. The reality is the fact that sick and injured trees are cut down by the forest rangers. When the trees are cut, at that moment the photographers eye discovers the wounds of the trees and in the same time rediscover the beauty of it, with marvelous imaginary pictures as result.
In the sculptures of ‘Lilou,’ modelled in clay or cast in bronze, mostly hand and feet are over accentuated. The reason is very simple. “There is the tactility of both the materials that I like to touch during the making, the modelling of the sculptures. With my hands I touch, so that’s why the hands are big. With the enlarging of the feet I ground the sculptures without creating a sense of mass and power.”
In his free time, professor architect-engineer ‘Francy Simon’ likes to create pieces of art in ceramics in several techniques together with a small group of friends –all artists, called the Collective ‘ L’Art Roche, Terre et Feu.’ Two of his works made in ‘Raku’ are interesting. Two sculptures are a kind of bestiaries, magical animals, whose morphology at first sight is based on living creations we know. “But at the same time I designed them into creatures that exist in my imagination.” For me the beautiful sculptures looked as if they came from an alien world or a fantasy realm.
The glass sculptures made by ‘Koen van Elsen’ are at first sight fragile and that is inherent on the material. But the way how he uses the fragility of the material to express the strength of his themes he shows us in his glass sculptures is amazing. For the eye, each shape he creates looks adjacent to the other. Each element has the ability to affect the other but then suddenly at the top of the sculpture the message becomes clear, or the message appeal at the fantasy of the visitor.
Talking with ‘Jean-Claude Dumont’ is not only listening to fascinating stories and legends. With his works in acrylic about stories that he derived from opera’s, ballet, music and legends, he re-imagine the imaginary, or he shapes an alternative history. Of great importance in the setting of his works are the plot and the characters of the story. Also poetry inspires him to create works of magic.