I want people to feel my art
The floor is lilac. So is the furniture, the stationery, the kettle in the corner. The whole room is enclosed by fluffy lilac fabric, with occasional patches of pink and blue. At first glance (and feel), Neoza Goffin’s studio feels like the perfect backdrop to a childhood dream. ‘Lilac manifests child-like imagination’, the healing artist agrees as she’s guiding us through her practice where she organises touch-based alleviating rituals such as cuddle piles. Inspired by spiritual practices from around the world, KASK alumnus Neoza Goffin creates multidisciplinary spaces to learn to respect and voice our bodies' boundaries.
T/W: trauma, sexual violence
You’re trained at KASK, how did that education influence your practice nowadays?
I was trained initially as a photographer at KASK, but my practice evolved into what I consider to be an interdisciplinary healing art practice. I’ve always had the urge to make art that could make a difference in this world, to evoke something in my audience.
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In high school, I made a project around feminism after I had experienced sexual trauma at fourteen years old. I discovered the healing aspect of processing my traumas through art, while also addressing relevant issues in the broader sense. I took a sabbatical and experimented with drugs, psychedelics, and fetish parties. I was rediscovering my boundaries. The drugs, as I got sober, brought me to spiritualism. I’m high on life now. In my masters' project, I combined all media and disciplines that had attracted me throughout my education, like video and VR. I want to create an immersive, alternative world through image, sound, and feel. The tactility of my installations is very important. Everything is handmade. In each of my images, I incorporate spiritual symbolism.
I’m high on life now
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What is your touch-based practice?
I wanted to stop showing art. I want people to feel my art. Sexuality has always been a central theme in my creative process, and spiritualism has flowed in throughout the year. I discovered tantra, which is, to me, the combination of sexuality and spirituality. This is knowledge thousands of years old, and it’s still helping people, like me. So, those are the roots, my touch-based healing practice was born. In a low-threshold environment and through touch, I encourage people to show consent via body language. Words of consent are important, but in some situations they are insufficient.
I wanted to stop showing art. I want people to feel my art
What kind of reaction or feeling do you want to evoke in your audience?
I want to teach people how much of a powerful tool body language is and how to listen to your body Also, that sexual energy is complex. We often think you either have sex with someone or you don’t have sex with them, but there are so many things between those two poles. You can experience sexual energy with someone you don’t necessarily want to sleep with.
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In your studio, the quote ‘Be your higher self every day’ is painted on the wall. What is the higher self to you?
The higher self is a known concept in guided meditations, where they often explain it as the best version of yourself sitting in front of you, with whom you can ask questions. Being your higher self doesn't mean you have to be a workaholic and be 'perfect' every day, it’s being true to yourself, your needs and your boundaries.
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What does the lilac colour mean to you?
To me, it’s the combination of feminine energy and masculine energy. Feminine energy is nowadays associated with pink whereas the masculine is with blue, but this was the opposite in the nineteenth century. The way we experience colours is super subjective and culturally influenced. I like to play with these gender stereotypes. Everyone exists out of a combination of both energies, it’s a big theme in tantra: getting in touch with both of your energies. Lilac or purple also stands for transformation, creativity, and spirituality. Lilac often portrays a child or a child-like imagination, a more naive version of our adult selves. I don’t see naivety as something negative, it’s an open attitude towards the world.
I don’t see naivety as something negative, it’s an open attitude towards the world
Subbacultcha and KASK & Conservatorium are teaming up for a series of artist portraits, featuring some of the interesting alumni and student profiles.
Visit the Info Day on 08 Mar or the Open School Day on 23 Apr
at Kask & Conservatorium, Ghent