Interview: Michèle Sennesael
Luca Curci talks with Michèle Sennesael during ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021, at Medina Art Gallery.
Michèle Sennesael is an interdisciplinary artist, born in Ghent, Belgium (b. 1974) and based in Wisconsin, USA. Michèle has been inventing a world that ranges from photography, video, printmaking, installations, sound, community art and educational implementations. She initially started her career in documentary photography and photojournalism, in 1995. For her “Heroes project”, she started teaching photography workshops for street children and documenting families, living in slums across Nicaragua. She curated and produced public exhibitions in train stations and libraries, sponsored by the Belgian railway company. “Heroes” achieved national recognition in the national and Belgian press and was an educational tool for Belgian students. Her images were published in the critically acclaimed book “Heroes, Stories of Love, Faith and Courage”. During a time of transition, while relocating to the United States, Michèle created “The Sacred Circle”, documenting the power struggles between doctors and midwives in the Americas. In 2019, she received a master’s degree in Fine Arts, at the school of Art and Design at Alfred University, Alfred New York, where she integrated new media, sound and printmaking into her practice. Michèle received numerous awards, has been published internationally and participated in solo and group exhibitions in Belgium, China, Colombia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Michèle’s work responds to physical and psychological situations, using photography, printmaking, video, sound, installation, and collaborative approaches. Through short-term or multi-year projects, she attempts to look beyond the obvious. As an artist, driven by the desire to explore the nature of her subject, she visualizes her thoughts using different media. While the outcome is secondary to the process, the process supplies the many questions she never looked for. Through this process of de-contextualizing, she reconstructs and defines what medium matches best in order to support her creations. She is interested in constructing an atmosphere beyond the distraction of the ordinary, that captures the uniqueness of the subject. The freedom that is offered, applying this method, allows her to realign the mind and create work that aims to build healthier results for ourselves, the community and the world.
Luca Curci – How did you get to photography? Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
Michèle Sennesael – Searching for ways to express myself, at the age of 16, I picked up my camera.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
MS – A good photograph inspires, evokes emotions and has the capability to transport one to another space.
LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
MS – As I do travel around the world constantly, my work relates to the geographical (external) and internal space I find myself in.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MS – Just as we evolve all the time, so does my work evolves with me,
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
MS – An artist has a big role to play in this ever-evolving world. One of the main things is to inspire others to express themselves authentically.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
MS – As a world citizen, I felt inspired to be part of an exhibition that gathers artists from all over, gathering in a special place like Rome. The birthplace of the Renaissance.
LC – In which way the photo presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MS – Transitions contemplates future landscapes. The future is NOW.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MS – I immediately felt drawn to be part of ITSLIQUID GROUP, especially since I stand for constant movement and growth. The future IS liquid.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
MS – I love the concept. The one suggestion I would have is to think of innovative ways to provide affordable access for all artists worldwide.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MS – Very much so!