Master Visual Arts and Illustration
Study of Arts
Having met each other in a residency program in Berlin, Hannelore Van Dijck and Bruno Ollé regard themselves as soundboards to one another on a friendly and artistic basis, and wish to draw upon that energy in their shared studio in Gouvernement. As the emphasis lies on trial and error, new beginnings and out-of-the-box approaches, the outcome might not result in an obvious, finalised project, but rather in something surpassing their initial comfort zone.
Describe briefly the path (whether artistic or not) you have followed so far.
Van Dijck: From 2004 until 2008 I studied Illustration at LUCA School of Arts Gent. Since then, drawing has directed the path I’ve followed. With room-filling drawings I try to create a new type of space and accordingly interpret the original architecture of the site. Examples include ‘Sea’ at Croxhapox (Gent), ‘Le Plat Pays’ at Voorkamer (Lier), ‘Wenn sich der Nebel hebt’ at Galerie Zink (Berlin), ‘It was midnight’ at Gallery Sofie Van de Velde (Antwerpen), Be-Part (Waregem) and S.M.A.K. (Gent). Seven years ago, Bruno Ollé and I met in a residency program called ‘GlogauAir’ in Berlin. Up until today we are still close friends and a soundboard to each other.
Ollé: From 2001 until 2004 I studied Art at Eina Art and Design School in Barcelona. Since then I have been working on many projects with very different approaches and directions, and some of those projects are still in progress. A few projects I’ve worked on are for example: ‘Collection of dead particles’ in Vladimiro Izzo Gallery (Berlin), ‘Redestinar’ in L’Atelier-Kunst(Spiel)Raum (Berlin), ‘No atreverse es fatal’ in La Casa Encenida (Espacio Caja Madrid), ‘Hoy es siempre todavía’ in Fundació Suñol, (Nivell Zero, Barcelona), ‘Ensayo Error’ in L&B Gallery (Barcelona) and ‘Back to R.A.L.’ in Atelier Relief (Brussels). Seven years ago, Hannelore Van Dijck and I met in a residency program called ‘GlogauAir’ in Berlin. Up until today we are still close friends and a soundboard to each other.
How would you describe your work in terms of themes, style, techniques, …?
Van Dijck: In my charcoal drawings I devote myself to the investigation of surfaces and their spatial behaviour. I try to shift perceptions of intimate closeness and distance, of abstraction and reality, of a complete picture and the microscopic detail. The in-situ work collapses the borders between the viewer and the viewed object. The viewer is pulled into the image. My drawings appeal to the experience of a body perceiving space and travelling through time, a personal body relating and interacting with its surroundings. The medium of charcoal and paper express my understanding of matter, being both solid and delicate as well as consistent and temporary. The distinct black is often nothing more than a fleeting trace. The temporary character of the in-situ drawing brings out the most poetical nature of the drawing material.
Ollé: I work with many different mediums, from video to sculpture and drawing. Every project has a different approach and requires different answers and artistic mediums. The meeting point for most of them is probably the act of collecting and arranging, finding new meanings of obsolescence.
What would you consider your most important achievement (whether or not artistic) to date?
Van Dijck: I am happy and grateful that I can spend most of my time drawing.
Ollé: Being able to do what I most enjoy, always or most of the time.
Who or what has been an inspiration to your work?
Van Dijck: The act of drawing, my drawing material and a certain space to work in are the biggest drive for my thoughts.
Ollé: The act of working itself. Working lifts me up to new starting points and perspectives. I also consider uncertain moments in life as a good fuel.
Which (art) disciplines other than the ones you’re familiar with, draw your attentention or would you like to immerse yourself into?
Van Dijck: There are different disciplines that I would like to immerse myself into. I feel a close connection to architecture, but I’m also familiar with weaving, as drawing for me often is a repetitive way of making images. Furthermore I am acquainted with dancing, since I experience seeing and drawing as physically embodied acts.
Ollé: Alongside new disciplines, I am now more interested in new dynamics. I find art, or at least my own experience with it lately, very introspective and solitary. I would like to add more synergy with other artists to my practice.
Describe what your focus will be during your residency in Gouvernement?
Van Dijck & Ollé: Over the last seven years, we have always been a soundboard to each other. We know each other’s research and questions as well as work rhythm and emotional temperament. We often rely on each other’s opinion within the framework of an exhibition. We consider this residency as a chance to be a soundboard to one another, not as the context defining the finalisation of a project, but as the beginning of a project. We would like to treat the studio as a shared space where materials are collected and new methods are investigated. Free and playful.
In which circumstances or environment would you consider yourself at your most creative?
Van Dijck: Different moments in life ask for different ways of working, but the dialogue with a given space always triggers new ways of thinking.
Ollé: Being surrounded by a new landscape always triggers new questions for me.
How does “INTERNEN” appeal to you specifically?
Van Dijck: The open mindset of the residency is very liberating. We both need a period of pure trial and error and the mere joy of doing and making something.
Ollé: The philosophy of this residency program definitely fits with our hunger for experimentation. The abundant freedom is what we need right now, as we are both craving to leave our comfort zones and to explore new working lines.
What do you expect from a residency in terms of personal artistic development and in terms of guidance and support?
Van Dijck: Every residency is different, however it should always be a moment where one can get rid of fixed routines.
Van Dijck & Ollé: For this residency, we expect moments of playful experiments and good conversations in order to gain the confidence to step out of our comfort zones. We want to eliminate the pressure of any articulated objective, but it would be great if this moment of experiment subsequently opens up new perspectives in our personal work.
Who (closeby/faraway, realistic/utopic, living/dead) is granted lifetime membership to your ultimate (secret) society?
Van Dijck & Ollé: Gabriel Dufour Laperrière.
intermediate conversation (06.02.18)
How does it feel, working together for the first time with another artist who approaches the artistic practice on another level and uses other mediums?
Our work differs quite a lot. For example, one focuses on surface whilst the other is more interested in structure and colour. It’s a search for the space in between us both. We’ve been friends for a long time and connect on many levels. We share a common understanding, so working together feels and evolves naturally. We clearly speak the same language, in a way that we can make mistakes, share insecurities and are able to fail or succeed – without a lot of pressure. It liberates us and offers room for playful experiments, such as stepping outside of our comfort zones and into a challenge that maybe has no obvious outcome. And we are totally okay with that kind of attitude.
We implement other strategies, use unusual materials and really enjoy the creation of new projects. For instance, every “Interne” has to make a flag during the residency. This assignment leads to a certain grip on how to approach each other. Flags are something we’ve separately worked on before, and it was beautiful to almost feel the same things at the same moment, although we work differently. It delivers us from what we’re used to and prevents us from getting stuck in “too much of the same”.
Does this residency influence you as an artist, and if yes, in what way?
Yes, our habitual routine in the atelier is disturbed. We don’t enter the atelier and start a project on our own or concentrate on something we’re working on. We now react to something the other did, or respond to a sudden change. It’s a surprise. We have time to change our perspective and reflect more on our artistic practice. It feels good to break free from our individual path and start something we’re not quite familiar with or which is not a part of our previous work. That open, frisky mindset pushes us to leave room for trial and error, new interpretations and conversations.
What result – if any – do you have in mind or wish to work towards?
It’s more like a refreshing, out-of-the-box work-in-progress for us both. We think of it as an evolving process, not as a conclusive final show, during which we continue working on unachieved ideas or unfinished projects. Neither is it an open atelier. Visitors won’t see the artist in his habitat. They hopefully sense the ongoing artistic ping pong of our temporary partnership and maybe experience discrete changes in the exhibition. As a one-month- residency is not enough for us to finalize our short artistic collaboration, we definitely want to work together in the future. Not on a regular basis, but as a playful process and a welcome break in our routine.