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Steegmans Gerda
  -    -  Steegmans Gerda

Gerda Steegmans

Visual artist

“The eye of man gliding over the landscape like a bird, full of wonder
beholding the complexity, beauty and fragility of nature.”

The visual work of Gerda Steegmans (Belgium °1964) can be seen as a representation of everyday impressions and sensations during walks in the field and surroundings.These images show suggestions of fading and transitions.

Nostalgia and longing, fear of loss of beauty and transience play a constant role in her ceramic work. The precarious relationship between man and nature is a permanent topical issue. Gerda juggles with the material clay, fed by the absolute urge to represent the experience of the natural world in its layering and mystery.

I was born on February 1, 1964 in Hasselt. Both my parents were of peasant descent. My father Arthur Steegmans born in Bokrijk, Genk, my mother Paulina Boes (Wellen). I am the middle one of 5 children.

A certain artistic blood was imparted in our genes. I grew up in Haspengouw, in the open ground. As a child I was already with my hands in the greasy earth. Already in my junior high school I was allowed to choose the fine arts and I studied (VTI, Hasselt). My thesis was about Small-sculpture through the ages.

I started with a 4-year art-painting course at the Provinciaal Hoger Kunstonderwijs (PHIKO) in Hasselt, and switched from painting to Ceramics. 3 years later I also obtained the Master Degree at the National Higher Institute in Antwerp in 1989 (NHISKA).Yet it was, I switched from painting to Ceramics and studied for 4 years at the Provincial Higher Art Education (PHIKO) in Hasselt and obtained the Master’s Degree at the National Higher Institute in Antwerp in 1989 (NHISKA) another 3 years later.

After my studies, I participated in Symposia in China (2008) and in Gmunden, Austria (2010).

I have been teaching full-time in the DKO since 2000.

I exhibit on occasion but have not yet made it a full-time event. I take ceramic work seriously, follow myself and not trends. And I play. I put things together. I assemble. My life is quite organic and so is my work. I love the suggestion in the image.

My visual work can be seen as a kind of record or representation of daily impressions, experiences and sensations during walks in the field and surroundings. The animal, dog, deer and bird are recurring subjects. These images represent suggestions of transitions, blurs. Animal becomes landscape, landscape becomes animal. In another context, the animal or a detail sometimes takes a very distinct place. Observing, observing things or situations without wanting to ask too many questions, is a primary occupation. Looking, admiring and remaining amazed. By collecting those remnants from nature and giving them a place, displaying them on a table, combining them with another form, these objects acquire a cultural dimension and new meaning. Found forms and newly created forms in clay and ceramics are confronted with each other. The viewer beholds and fills in.

The ceramic sculptures I create, whether or not assembled with other materials, sprout from acquired visual stimuli. My work is largely autobiographical. At the same time, in poetic imagery, I strive for timelessness and universal recognition. My recent work has centered on the story of St. Rochus, a plague saint. Pilgrimage, about the irreversibility of death and piety. The theme is very old, yet at the same time current.

Nostalgia and longing, fear of loss of originality or purity, beauty and transience play a permanent role in my work.