Interview with Hélène Meyer
1. How strong is the influence of the places you are or have
been on your work?
This last year actually a lot. It began at a « residency » in Morocco.
Before, places where not that important, I was more working on internal
emotions and feelings. When I discovered Taroudant (little town in
south-West of Morocco) it was a visual shock, the light, the colours,
the symbols that you can find in architecture, textile, ceramic and
woodcraft. My first reaction was to draw what I saw. After a while I
began to put away my sketch book and just observe. When I returned to
the ryad and drew, it was like I integrate what I saw and could draw
in the same language. The more I was walking around, drawing, the more I could enrich the vocabulary of this language and create my own « words ». .
2. What are you currently working on?
After Morocco, I continued in that way. The third dimension took more
place in my work. I let this language of symbols grow that became
«objects ». A mix of Moroccan influence, existing signs, elements,
and personal interpretation. Something between architectural and organic
objects appeared, and I try to give these « objects » a new environment
where they all are put together and coexist in a place thought in
the same way they were created.
Colour is also very important in that way. I try to let unusual colours vibrate together by searching the good shade.
3. Do you listen to music while working?
A lot. But it’s not that it has an influence on my work. I use it more
to stay concentrated or to get the energy and good vibes. At a certain
point I’m so concentrated that I even do not hear it anymore. I’m not
ashamed to tell that all kind of music is playing in my atelier. It can
be even a Bad Gyal with a glass of wine than Bach with a cup of tea.
Depends on the mood ! Today it was the album « Java » of Dijf Sanders.
Sometimes of course is silence even powerful.
4. Which artists (or other people) are you inspired by?
Every time that I’m working on something new (a way to use colour, to
treat a topic or even a special way of using my brush on a painting)
I’ll try to find an artist that also made a research on it. I’ll try in
a way to understand what he found out, where I am and where I want to
evolve. For example, now I have it with Le Douanier Rousseau and also
some graffiti makers, but also with painters that normally are totally
not in my list of « inspiring artists », like some works by Magritte
and Fernand Leger.
My big inspiration is more about the way some artists are against their
works. I’m fascinated by the artists that always followed their instinct,
no matter what. That they never stopped searching, even if it meant to get out of the comfort zone or maybe disappoint the way how people wanted them. So I’m a big fan of artists like Philip Guston, Louise Bourgeois, Philippe Vandenberg, … and much much more…
5. What is your favourite place to see art?
At artists' studios ! When it’s possible of course, but that’s my
favorite way to see art. You get so much more information, a fascinating
environment. Inspiration, sketches, material, fails, … and if you have
the chance, a warm conversation with the artist. Of course, seeing the
result in a clean space is nice, but before that, art is a research. Trying
to understand the process is what I prefer. And a crush happens most of
the time in unexpected places and moments.
6. What is the best part of being an artist?
The fact that there are no limits.
The infinity of subjects you can explore, of freedom you can take, of
ways to evolve. A live is not enough for that.
7. Are there any ongoing projects or upcoming exhibitions
where we can see your work?
I just come back from « La Guilda » residency in Mallorca where I
experimented with ceramic. I try to keep my instagram helene_meyer updated, but if you pass by Brussels, you can always visit my studio !