Every work is a small tale

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New Master Floris Hoorelbeke explores various media including drawing, collage, sculpture, music and performance. By combining abstraction with figuration, he carefully searches for the right composition, often by bringing together different materials. We visited the exhibition Frequently the woods are pink at Be-Part Waregem, consisting of artworks from private collectors living in West Flanders. While looking at the diverse range of artworks that filled the rooms, we spoke about his way of working, his sources of inspiration (music!) and some specific artworks from the exhibition that fascinated us.

What are the main characteristics of your work? 

Composition is important to me: I’m always looking for the right balance between lines and abstract forms. I search for the feeling a colour can give you. Sometimes I add figurative elements, but then it rather becomes a collage. These can be all kinds of stuff, like small cutouts from food boxes, photos from friends or relatives, even photos I found on the street. I use different bits and pieces, I collect and map them to search for the right composition. I always start with a few lines to build it up, sometimes I make it bigger or smaller until it feels right. 

What sparks your creativity?

There’s a lot that sparks my creativity! (laughs) I read a lot. Music is a big form of inspiration for me as well. Noise as a genre really triggers me. I find it very interesting how the same form of abstraction can occur in a noise. I also make noises myself by starting to build something with a few sounds. The same method of working returns in my visual work: I start with something and build it up. In this way, the work becomes very layered. 

You work across various media like drawing, sound, performance, collage,… What is the significance of the medium in your work? 

Sometimes I switch between media when a work doesn’t feel right. I try to find ways to make it work by making a sculpture out of it, putting it in epoxy or trash it and try to make this not-working work work. (laughs) Lately, I find epoxy a very interesting medium to work with. I try to manipulate the material in such a way so that I don’t know the perfect drying time beforehand, I let go of the control and let coincidence come into play. When the work finally hangs in a space, it seems to become something sacred and suddenly you can’t touch it anymore. However, I think it’s good when people touch it or a small part breaks off. That’s how the work lives. 

This exhibition is divided into three themes related to daily life: the contradictions in life, the passing of time and the tensions between culture and nature. Can we also find this in your work? 

It can have a link with nature or other themes but I think it’s afterwards that you can see links like that. I’m not trying to make my work go in a certain direction. The passage of time is a subject that comes back in my work, but not in a way that I’m working on that theme specifically. I’m rather creating repetition and repetitiveness, therefore time is part of it without me really looking for it. I also make publications containing works from a certain period. In doing this I pose a certain time limit, which can be every six months or even a year. I think my work has the strongest link with time. 

Sofia Hultén’s work With Added Dimensions evokes feelings of expansion and potentiality using simple but complex objects. I also get this feeling from your work. 

It’s a right feeling. When I was looking at the work I saw that the toolbox resembles my studio. They both have all these little bits and pieces laying around. 

And there’s a lot of potentiality in your studio.

I hope so! (laughs)

René Heyvaert’s piece stimulates the visitor to look differently at reality. Is this also an objective of your work? 

My work revolves more around the registration of life, like On Kawara’s Date Paintings. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a week, but there’s always this time slot on it, similar to On Kawara. The bits and pieces lying around in my studio resemble the small box with the newspaper in it. Maybe it’s a bit the same but in a different way. (laughs) 

Do you have any upcoming projects that we should keep an eye on? 

Yes, I’m working on a new publication. I also did a performance with Karel Thienpont at CC De Ververij in Ronse and there’s a tape coming out from that performance. During the performance, Karel was reading books with sleeping stories while sitting on a bed and I was playing music. Maybe we’ll redo the performance in Ostend in a shopping mall. There will also be an exhibition in an old bakery in Ostend. So a lot of things are brewing!


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