Interview: Nora Van Driessche
Luca Curci talks with Nora Van Driessche during FRAGMENTED IDENTITES, second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space in Venice.
Since she was a teenager, Nora Van Driessche has been a very creative person and autodidact in many ways, as well professional as in art & craft. In these years, she followed 2 years of art academy. Later on, visual arts moved over for some time and music inspired her (guitar and tenor saxophone). In 2006, her creative side came out again. She tried out different methods with acrylic paint, to bring variety in her work. The acrylic works are mostly abstract, sometimes mixed media. Harmony and composition are very important. The accent lies on the feeling you get by looking at the canvas. Nora is mostly inspired by ‘nature’s beauty’: the sea, the forest, people’s emotions, the rhythm in nature elements. She also creates personalized paintings with links to the person(s) who order the work: art as a mirror to your own personality. Since about 7 years ago, Nora also became fascinated with ceramics. With the same inspiration as for paintings, Nora creates different sculptures and throws colorful dinnerware. Since August 2019, she started her own studio where she teaches throwing and hand building and organizes master classes with world famous ceramists. Both ceramics and paintings are very colorful. Color always has been very important to Nora. It lightens up difficult days and makes people happy on every occasion.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Nora Van Driessche – Art for me is my way to show who and what I care about. I often take Nature as an example, especially the sea, which I adore and also people’s emotions. My work is also colorful, as well my ceramics as my paintings. I just need colors in my life, they brighten up my mind in difficult times and always make me happy.
LC – What are you currently working on?
ND – At this moment, I’m working on one of the ceramic sculptures that will be presented in Orléans, France in November 2021. The work is a combination of a hat, meaningful to our city Waregem because of the Horse Races at the end of August, where almost every woman wears a beautifully decorated hat. And a Water Lily on top of it, my link to Nature. Besides this, I’m always busy in my ceramic studio, making sculptures, dinnerware or teaching ceramics and throwing. Now and then, I take a day off in my painting Studio, to let my mind wander off in this totally different creative process.
LC – What is your creative process like?
ND – Mostly at night, while I should be sleeping, my head gets full of new ideas. I take notes sometimes and then let it simmer for a few weeks or even months, to let it ripen. Once I get a clear view of where I want to get, I start thinking of the technical issues to build out the project. And from that point, I get to work.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
ND – As I mentioned above, Nature and People’s emotions are my biggest inspiration. I also try to make people think about the difference we can make for Nature in the Future. E.g. I participated in an exhibition ‘Water, Fluid of Life’ in Croatia – 2019 and I am also part of the traveling exhibition ‘More Clay, Less Plastic’ in Italy, also since 2019, but postponed in 2020 due to the Corona virus.
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?
ND – The painting I presented in ‘Borders – Fragmented Identities’ is called ‘In Brackets’. It consists of different small canvases on one big one, showing the fragmentation and the limits of each small canvas and trying nevertheless to connect them all in the big canvas. When I read about the exhibition, I immediately thought of this particular painting to suit the theme. Especially now in Corona times, where people had to stay separated and were trying to connect in different ways anyway.
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?
ND – It was made before, but as I explained above, I saw a direct link to the theme of the Exhibition ‘Borders – Fragmented Identities’.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
ND – Being an artist is never easy, I guess, but nowadays, since we were not able to show our work for about one year and a half, it’s even harder. I also believe that, once an artist is launched or gets sponsored by a Maecenas in the beginning, it might get easier. But most of us, humble artists, are not that lucky. Also, since subscription and shipment is often expensive, it’s not possible for everyone (neither for me) to subscribe for a lot of exhibitions.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
ND – Yes, I surely do.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
ND – Overall, I like the platform. There is a lot of information to be found.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
ND – Yes, I really did. Since I have a few more exhibitions planned this year, in Belgium and France, I won’t be able to join ITSLIQUID Group exhibitions in 2021. But I surely will in the future. I also hope I will be able to be present at the opening then, something which was not possible now in Venice.