lunedì 8 ottobre 2007

Interview with Peggy Van Reeth

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a)I was born in 1971 in Tournai (northern Belgium). I studied Textile Design (1990-1994) at the Beaux-Arts de Tournai. At that time, I was working for a puppet theatre that's where I learned to sculpt. When I moved to Brussels I took sculpture and interior design classes. I did my first doll exhibit in 1994. I have been living in Brussels for twelve years now.

q)How would you describe your work?

a)They are sculptures/dolls. As I mentioned above, my work started with puppets. Later on I cut the strings. Now I put them in scenographic boxes or on a pedestal.

q) Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?

a) No, but I always wanted to study Arts and my parents let me follow my own path. I grew up seeing my grandfather and father fiddling in their workshop, one with wood, the other with iron. My mother used to make all my dresses, she would sew and knit all the time. I sort of mixed all that together!

q) What is your favorite medium?

a)Sculpture, sewing... I like to mix materials, recycle.. I like to use whatever I kind find.

q) Can you describe your process, from the seed of an idea to a complete work?

a)When I have an idea for a sculpture I try to create a coherent series from it. I work sometimes on more then 10 pieces simultaneously. Working from one piece to the next, with parts waiting to be put together. It's only at the end of the process that I actually see what it all adds up to.

q) Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?

a)I like it when my sculptures/dolls are pretty, yet intriguing with something a little strange. The circus, freaks, siamese sisters are my favorite themes, but I also like to work on the passage of time, on the wearing away of things.... I like to wear materials down to the thread, to mere fiber.

q) How long does it take to complete a piece?

a)Because I am always working on more then one piece at a time it is hard to say. Once I have an idea, and once I have worked everything out in my head then my hands take over. I impose a daily schedule on myself and respect it. If necessary I can create ten sculptures/dolls in a months time.

q) Who are your favorite artists…and who are some artists you are currently looking/
listening to?

a)I am attracted to artists that had a life filled with passion and suffering.... Frieda Khalo, Camille Claudel, Colette... I also like Calder's circus, Joe Sorren and many others....Comic strip artists: Jurg, Mezzo, Blanquet....and many authors: Jim Thompson, Michael Guinsburg, Joe R. Lansdale, John Fante.... I don't go to many art exhibits but I do discover a lot through MySpace!

q) Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

a)I am organizing with Arkel gallery in Brussels ( an exhibit that regroups eleven "adventure girls": ciou, fabesko, nicoz balboa, taga, marie noël dobys, ml productions, nancy van reeth, sisca locca, mdme gruiikk et sophitia... This will be showing until the 25th of november.
The Art de Rien gallery in Paris ( is actually showing my work. Another exhibit will be held in november with Ciou and Rosstabla at the Tribal Act Gallery in Paris (

q) Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

a)I like to be alone, calm and not to be disturbed. Generally I turn on the radio, but I don't really listen to it, just as background noise.

q) What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e) tactile sensation?

a)sweet and salty
//the wind
//white lines that airplanes leave behind in the sky
//the ones that remind you of something
//my 35 year old teddy bear
q) Do you have goals that you are trying to reach as an artist, what is your 'drive'? What would you like to accomplish in your 'profession'?

a) I try to always have new projects, that's my drive. I can't really say wether I have a goal or if I have to accomplish something... all I know is that I couldn't do anything else and I wouldn't want to.

q) When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

a) I installed ASDL 2 months ago! Before this, I used the internet only for emails. Now, with MySpace, I get a lot more feedback on my work, sometimes even orders! I am realizing that there are a lot of things to discover! And I do spend a lot of my time at home, so it's a good thing!

q) What do you obsess over?

a) Loosing inspiration, desire...or getting both my hands cut off!
q) Do you have prefered working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?
a) As soon as I wake up I set up my workspace... I don't have specific hours for anything, I sometimes even forget to eat or dress. When daylight goes down, I put sculpture and painting aside and concentrate on drawing or researching new ideas. At night, I surf!

q) Do you do commissioned works?

a)For certain exhibits I adapt my work to the site, sometimes my dolls are more trashy, other times more nice and sweet. I also do personnalised orders for customers.

q) Any tips for emerging artists?

a) Keep your personality! Cut&paste is a dead-end road!

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