Interview with Lucas van Eeden
1. Are you an alchemist?
I can’t yet fully say I am an alchemist! I do practice alchemy such as practical working with substances and I am invested in mythicism and symbolism. It is a quest to become an alchemist and a study towards alchemy, so I actually consider myself a student of my own modern alchemy. I think the correct term to describe my methods and thinking is a form of natural philosophy. I study nature in a way, maybe even in an ancient way, what then contradicts with the word modern alchemy but that is my contemporary adaptation on traditional practices and philosophy within alchemy, with nature I do mean everything there is and that we can see and cannot see, so us included. I like to look at things with a neutral vision which is led by instinctive and intuitive observing where the mystical takes shape, it becomes alive, it materializes.
Immanent in the material of the world, and the alchemical transmutation process is for me a kind of mystical purification. Then in retrospective to reflect on it, it gets so closely interwoven that it becomes an art work or a practice:)
2. What are you currently working on?
Recently, I made a chair, not totally sure where it is going yet. Also I have found a ladder on the roof of my atelier which I am now altering to make it stand up in the air, like you are supposed to do with a ladder but this ladder is now a way to nowhere. I have always been interested in chairs, I am using the form of a chair because it is for me a symbol of a state in transition, like a chair is the middle between lying and standing. It represents transformation of everything. A chair is a fully man made invention for levelling above the floor, this raises us above the “animal kingdom” and I see a chair as a icon of human existence. A chair is a great example of how we have defined ourselves. This work, the chair, is a transformation of materials and physical labour that manifests into a visual form and tells a story bigger than itself. Further where I am working on is the series that is currently on show on the website, I want to work further on those with more works that can become the next series, I do want to expand and work bigger.
3. Do you listen to music while working?
Yes, I have somewhat become a youtuber, for music. I am not totally font of that maybe, I don’t know really. A big amount of the music I listen to is mostly (released) on platforms such as youtube, spotify and such. Mostly I just play some music on a playlist and do work. But maybe how I work makes more sense to explain how and why I listen to music. It becomes synchronised by it. So I have learned that I work the best when I do two tasks at the same time, so I like writing this text between working on a sculpture / installation. The music I listen to is a little bit of everything, from the 60s till now basically. So what happens then is that I do play playlists but I change music a lot in between.
4. Which artists (or other people) are you inspired by?
Roman Signer, Bas Jan Ader and Stanly Brouwn and many many others! But they are my favourite artists to look at and think about. Other artists I do admire are some musicians like Yung Lean, Ecco2k, Bladee, Thaiboy Digital and Black Kray. I enjoy their music a lot, I must say they are kind of so alternative you have to get used to it. They are also one of the artists that I meant in the above question about music.
5. What is your favourite place to see art?
I have some spaces that I like, but most of the time I just go to whatever. So what I mean by that is that most of the spaces and places where you can see art are interesting. I like to visit galleries as I do like to visit museums. If i had to choose then I think that Antwerp and London are places where I really like to see art. But I do also like to be surprised by what gets offered to me at any opening anywhere:)
6. What is the best part of being an artist?
For me the best part is the opportunity to create, make, experiment, research etc. In that where I am interested in, that freedom and having the chance to show, and to possibly be enjoyed or criticised. Being an artist is partly an autodidact field which makes it not easy, it is hard work but I do enjoy that, it takes a lot of self discipline. It shaped me into what I am and I am glad about that.
7. Are there any ongoing projects or upcoming (online) exhibitions where we can see your art?
Yes! I do, unfortunately it got postponed to a not yet specified date somewhere when the corona safety measures are finally lifted, but originally it would have taken place on the 10th this month actually. The title was “Grip” and it was held by PIP expo in Gray Space in the Middle. It would have been an awesome show with 5 others, but any way this will take place soon when we all can go back to visiting openings and shows! So to conclude soon I will know a new date to do the exhibition!!