Belgian artist Gabriella Cleuren paints scenes of emotional upheaval, desperation, confusion and joy. See more of her work by visiting her website.
Full Emptiness 2013
I lived many years on a Caribbean island where I discovered the beauty of extremely lonely places, plains, often without human presence, salt lakes, salt pans, sea views and protected natural resorts.
I love enormous spaces because they have implications to the mind. Your thinking feels free and leaves room for new horizons, forms new ideas, creates new dreams. An open space is like an endless world, an infinite heaven, it is a non-fixed barrier, like eternity. When I started scanning these spaces with my eyes and mind, I discovered other worlds, immense beauty, color, line, atmosphere, mysterious forms and endlessness.
This could occur by a disrupted sky that projects a sheet of light on a piece of field. It could be a small limited part of sea, a cutout sequence that unfolds its peculiarity and richness in this mysterious way. What is found and seen in a large space can also be discovered in a tiny cut of air, land or sea. Emptiness, understood as absence of human life, doesn’t mean an absence of beauty and richness and variety of forms and colors.
The same elements I found in Zeeland, a province of the Netherlands when I cross the border from Belgium. I regularly sit there for hours at the dikes, near a large delta in the neighborhood of Antwerp, just following the constant changing opal light, movement and calming sound of the water. Full emptiness. It is enormously inspiring.
Brave new, old worlds 2013
Here I notice the evolution, the development and specificity of my time, the 21st century. An artist has to give proof of his time (as a witness.)
Like impressionists witnessed in their time, the changing interest in light and representation of it, I continue my observations on mine. I’m not an artist that is much interested in representing a beautiful outside world, the surface of which can be seen; but like Goya, Daumier, Munch I go for the inside, the implications of human behavior.
I discovered lots of progress in a scientific way, on the technical level, but hardly in human interaction. I don’t see much improvement. The ideas (utopian) of French revolution aren’t realized. Wars haven’t disappeared but increase despite communication. Loneliness has increased despite many transportation possibilities. The world and families seem disrupted.
This is a time of cruelty, dishonesty, coldness and severe exploitation of hard-working people. The responsible make lots of victims. Slavery still exists in another form. Greed has increased even with the educated, and creates homeless people without a future or a decent human existence. Respect for human beings has deteriorated. Globalization disturbs values and makes masses of drifting and poor.
That is the change, back to old times. This is the world of today I notice in a critical way, a panorama of the 21st century.
Aren’t people capable of mental progress? Is there a limit to their possibilities?