Ann Van Hoey was an industrial engineer before she discovered ceramics. She finished her studies at the Institute for Arts and Crafts in her hometown Mechelen in 2006. In the following year, the Design Vlaanderen (Design Flanders) organization selected her “Étude Géométrique” as a “New Revelation” and in 2008 awarded the Henry van de Velde quality label to this series. In 2008 this ceramic artist was also invited to the Biennale Internationale in Vallauris, France, and in 2009 even received three international awards. In Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Ann Van Hoey´s work and glass objects made by Carine Neutjens can be seen until June 20.
“Étude Géométrique” (“Geometric Study”) is the name Ann Van Hoey has chosen for a series of five bowls which impressively embody the quintessence of her artistry in a contemporary manner. The basis for these pieces, i.e. thinly rolled pieces of clay cut into semicircles, are first joined and shaped into perfectly hemispherical bowls on the potter’s wheel. When the clay has dried so as to be leather-hard, Van Hoey uses a pair of scissors to cut triangular segments from it and joins the ends so as to overlap, thus opening up the path towards new three-dimensional shapes whose logic and clarity do not only fascinate minimalists alone. Without any décor, the clay’s colour and material characteristics are displayed to perfection. The combination of lines and surfaces makes for charming sculptural effects. Inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, Van Hoey’s crafting technique results in unusual creations that trigger new chains of associations.
The vessels from her “Rozet” line remind us of handmade paper dried on filigreed wooden frameworks. For Ann Van Hoey, the notions of statics and balance, weightiness and lightness, clay and paper are not firmly established but instead can be altered by applying creative ideas and innovative crafting techniques.
Ann Van Hoey and Carine Neutjens. 7 May – 20 June 2010, 11am – 5pm daily. Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Entrée, Minderbroedersgang 5.