Kathleen Van Geyt. Almost not drowning


Dirk Schrijvers

In 2017, 5 students are graduating at the department “Glaskunst” of the “Academie van Berchem” and 2 students finish their year of specialization. 

Posted 1 May 2017

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Kathleen Van Geyt
Kathleen Van Geyt (°1983) studied Human Sciences, Orthopedagogic section and got a training in analogue photography, before starting her education at the glass department.
She was intrigued by the concept of light and shadow, lines and planes and this led her in the first time to photography. However she got frustrated by its limitations, mainly its flatness and 2-dimensiality. She wanted to work 3-dimensionally so that the light or the absence of light might play a bigger role in her pieces. This was why she started the glass training.
A continuing theme in her work is unity. “I feel an interaction with everything around me and I am continuously influenced by it. I am fascinated by its dynamics and surprises and the fact that one never is able to control everything, but one is always a part of the whole. One is formed by the environment and this makes life more intense”
Her graduation project is called “Reflections” and focusses on the fact that everything is a reflection of something else because the relationship between cause and consequence. They attract and repel each other and it is case to stay upright. Reflections create a world within the world; one layer in another. They are united by the intricate play of lines but are apparently independent of each other.”
The forms she uses to construct her work are coming from nature because of its universal dynamic idiom. The slumped glass objects are placed on a black plane and their reflections complement the image she wants to create, making the image stronger.

Gusta Brughmans. No title

Gusta Brughmans
Gusta Brughmans (°1948) worked her whole life in a shop for seeds for gardens and animals. After her pension, she wanted a new challenge and she enrolled in the glass department to fill her time. She quickly learned that the material glass was not easy to use and she adapted her method of working to use it in an optimal way.
She is graduating with an installation based on a prior work, combining paper with glass. Her work is composed of paper bags, glass structures based on paper bags and container for seeds. The form-melted glass has a white coating expect for the top, which enables the viewer to look inside and discover its content. Her objects are very recognizable and incoporate a constructivist feeling.

Karel Engels
Karel Engels (°1948) worked in the photographic industry and after his pension he started a training as artistic metal worker. After 5 years, he stopped his training due to infrastructural problems at the school. During an “open door” at the Academy of Berchem, he came into contact Luc de Bruyne during a glass blowing workshop and enrolled in the Glass class. He is most interested by the creating of malls and working with hot glass. For his graduation he combines white glass pieces, based on the structure of a wheel and cut into parts with dark metal. The installation consists of a metal frame in which the glass parts are incorporated. The form is based on an organic structures and refers to a flower. 

Karel Engels. No title

Elke Van Werde. No title

Elke Van Werde
Elke Van Werde (°1976) obtained a Master degree in interior architecture at the Henry van de Velde Institute in Antwerp and works as a light advisor, creating lighting plans for shops, churches and schools.
After a training in Sculpture at the Academy of Berchem, of which she graduated with wooden round organic sculptures, she wanted to work with a more transparent material, which enables the passing and reflection of light. She found this characteristics in glass and enrolled in the glass department.
She is inspired by architectural forms that reflect light as in the work of the architect Frank Gehry.
In her graduation work, the architectural forms and the reflections of light play an important part. The lines in her work are rectangular and completely different from her work with wood. Right angels are everywhere in the architectural pieces, that have a white in-transparent side and a transparent side which allows the reflection and penetration of the light in the composition. 

Michel De Smedt
Michel De Smedt (°1957) worked as a teacher in garden design. He became interested in the material glass because of its many possibilities, ranging from glass windows to 3-dimensional objects. The interaction of light with these objects directed his to the material. He first experimented with Tiffany glass, but encountered soon its limitations. He compared the different programs of schools offering glass courses and did choose the Academy of Berchem for its multitude of techniques and diversity.
From the starting point of reality, he tries to find an artistic expression of the things that are within him. In creating his works, the process of making is more important than the final result. His graduation project is called “Dagboekfragmenten” and is based on his diaries, which he uses to enable him to live with a chronic pain problem. The installation consists of 10 form-melted glass panels on which he writes with black ink and adds colors of the spectrum blue-green to visualize his feelings. The panels are places in groups of 3 to 4 in a circle to complete the installation.

Michel De Smedt. Dagboekfragmenten

Luc Bogaerts. No title

Luc Bogaerts
Luc Bogaerts (°1949) finishes his specialization year with a prolongation of his graduation work in 2014. He still has a “hate-love” relationship with the material glass.
After studying typography at the St Lucas Institute in Schaarbeek and working in the printing industry, he did a number of artistic trainings in painting, drawing and restauration before starting at the department “Glaskunst” in Berchem.
He wants to start the creative process based on the technical possibilities of the material and the limitations of the material and the concept of transparency in his object dictates his work. He uses organic forms to construct his pieces that are cast and slumped to become 3-dimensional standing objects referring to anthropomorphic and natural themes. 

Leen de Bruyne
Leen de Bruyne (°1955) presents for her specialization year 2 installations composed out of pâte-de-verre elements. She started working with glass based on her fascination with the material and the process of glass blowing, resulting in an object incorporating contradicting aspects such as light versus heavy, hard versus fragile, solid versus liquid.
In her work she wants to express inter-human relationships, in which her own emotions and impressions play an important role. She is inspired by the world she lives in: humans, animals, plants, and the relationship among them.
Her installations  shows the contact between internal and external feelings. The inside of the pâte-de-verre fragments is made up of bright and strong red and yellow colors; the outside of the fragments is dark. The pieces can be combined with the dark skin in a continuous line and decorated with a head-like structure, giving it the aspect of a reptile. When the pieces are places in an open construction, the explosion of colors dictate the feeling, which expresses happiness, life and the goodness that is present in everyone.

Leen de Bruyne. No title

The graduation exhibition runs from 9/6/2017 until 23/6/2017 in Galerij SD-Worx, Brouwersvliet 2, Antwerp, Belgium

More information:
Academie Berchem
Frans Van Hombeeckplein 29
2600 Berchem
+32 (0)3-292 63 00

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