Interview: Christel Van Hemelrijck
Luca Curci talks with Christel Van Hemelrijck during ALCHEMIC BODY at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space and during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2020 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Christel uses oil painting on canvas to present us her lyric expressionism visions. She is a self-taught artist, based in Mechelen, Belgium. The island of Crete remains her major source of inspiration, along with her travel experiences. Christel has lived in Crete during the 90s and she still spends a lot of time there. Her emotions are expressed through the language of bold colors, with laconic, solid composition and delicate texture mainly on large canvasses. Every painting is a story. Soon after starting out in 2017 she has had several exhibitions in Belgium. Lately, Christel had the opportunity to present her work in Lisbon, Amsterdam, London and Venice.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Christel Van Hemelrijck – Art is many things. It is communication without limitations. It can bring serenity but it can also evoke passion. Art can move you and inspire you. It is a universal language.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
CVH – I am a self-taught artist. Before I started painting I had a career in television as an executive producer, creative problem solving rather than art. At first, when I started painting a few years ago, it had more to do with catharsis. Later on, it evolved into a passion. Now that I am a full-time artist I can really focus on art, which has an influence on both creativity and productivity.
LC – What is your creative process like?
CVH – I get inspired by people and places. The interaction incites a constant desire to make art. My work is all about emotions and stories. My major source of inspiration are my travels, new environments, new vibes, new encounters.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
CVH – The most challenging part is to resist the urge to tweak a painting, you have to know when it’s done. You can ruin a good piece by working on it for too long.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
CVH – It did change quite a lot actually. At first, I used a lot of colours and worked only with palette knives, no brushes. Now it has become more minimalistic and I only use a palette knife for the details. Most of my works are red and blue, always balancing between passion and serenity.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
CVH – The works I presented are all about the same person. Some encounters leave a lasting impression and inspire you for a long time. And coincidentally they all fit the theme of the exhibition THE BODY LANGUAGE very well.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
CVH – They are part of the series STORIES I am currently working on.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP? Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
CVH – ITSLIQUID GROUP is a great platform with a professional team. Everything is very well organised. The team is quick to react, it is very pleasant to work with all of them. I also had the liberty to choose the work I wanted to show. Another plus is that it also gives you the opportunity to meet other artists from all over the globe.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
CVH – I would definitely recommend a collaboration with ITSLIQUID GROUP. It gives you the possibility to show your art to a large audience and to interact with other artists.