Interview: Els Janssens
Luca Curci talks with Els Janssens during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, the third appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
My work cannot be captured in one image. Due to my versatile talent, I play different art disciplines of the visual arts. My works are really colorful. Since 1988 I have worked as an audio editor and mainly made watercolors and portraits, commissioned works. A little later I attended the Academy of Fine Arts and went in search of interesting masterclasses in different disciplines at home and abroad. I travelled in Europe as far as Asia. I was a teacher since 1989: privately, in academies, in allies at other locations. When creating my works there is no space and time I move between heaven and earth between being and not being in order to bring beauty in its full bloom. My sources of inspiration are nature, poems, stories, images, and people who cross one’s daily path. I set up various projects and exhibitions as a curator. My search for the beauty of the imperfect continues every day. My works are somewhat oriental and I mainly make unique pieces.
LUCA CURCI – What is art to you?
ELS JANSSENS – Art is knowing where you come from and where you want to go… For me, that is creating beauty in all its shapes and colours, techniques and materials. With the slogan “LESS IS MORE”.
LC – What is your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
EJ – I have been painting and drawing since I was only seven years old and come from an artistic family. From musicians, singers, poets, philosophers, architects…. I started out as an autodidact and in 1988 I obtained a master’s degree in visual arts, did a lot of self-study, travelled a lot to other countries and met all kinds of artists with that experience. Made works of art what they are today. As a teacher, both privately and at academies and in studios, I give workshops and lectures, and I stand between people and make my arts in my home studio. I am a storyteller, my work is about people, nature, philosophy, meditation etc….
LC – What is it like to be an artist these days?
EJ – It is a privilege not to have to live off my works of art? In addition to my artistry, I have always combined other work to provide some security in my livelihood. But to be an independent artist it is very difficult to survive only if you have a good and long-lasting sponsor. But it has not disappointed me I continue to make very passionate works of art I want to have something to say Dialogue with the audience is so fascinating and instructive.
LC – Has your style changed over the years? In what way?
EJ – I started to paint figuratively with watercolors and gradually started to experiment with oil paint, acrylic and other materials, now I’m in the more abstract style. according to the stories or themes. I then work out my ideas, sometimes ceramics, sometimes with paint and brush, palette knife, and sometimes mixed media or graphics. When you are working on a work, a new idea for another work grows while you work…everything has to do with everything, everything has a zen place, everything has a zen time and in making a work of art there is no space, no time, only yourself and the creativity that leads to endless satisfaction. This is a continuous experience as an artist it is a way of life.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
EJ – When work is really completed and it is really very good work it gives an indescribable feeling I call it a feeling of being between heaven and earth, between being and not being.
LC – What do you think of the concept of this festival and how did it inspire you?
EJ – It is a good concept as an artist gets a stage to show their work internationally. For me, it was an opportunity to exhibit in Venice and I think it is a great honour to be able to do that thanks to your organization (I visited Venice three times in the past and it has won one’s heart). Here in Belgium, we have a non-profit association with some artist friends where we offer national and international artists a stage to exhibit in Europe and Asia and we have been doing this for about 20 years.
LC – How does the artwork in our exhibition tie in with the theme of the festival?
EJ – Future landscape….is a very broad theme that you can approach in different ways. I chose here for the dialogue between man and nature, because of the covid pandemic people were confronted again with their own finiteness and to reflect on what is really important in life. Many people rediscovered the beauty of nature, stop stuffing the landscape with concrete, and make it green again, more livable for the future for our young generations! My work is symbolic, the green as a sign of hope, the ginkgo leaves as a sign of longevity and happiness, and the circle movement back to basic, an invitation to meditation communication with people.
LC – What do you think of ITSLIQUID PLATFORM? Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can be an opportunity for aristocrats? Did you enjoy working with us?
EJ – It’s good that there are people like you who offer an international platform in different countries for artists to come out with their work internationally, it offers space and perspective for their future. It is a pleasure to meet you and wish you every success in the future. And hope to be able to participate in some exhibitions that you organize. Many thanks in advance it was a great pleasure!
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