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Stephanie Vandamme

Visual Arts: ,

I just feel that I am always looking to understand more about myself and this world.

Making collages feels like going on a journey. It starts from a point of not feeling part of this world – mostly because of my hearing challenges. But then when I sit down somewhere on a bench in the city or in nature and start drawing a plant or a building, it’s like something magical happens. I feel first of all very calm, centred and no longer trapped in this physical body. Also, I feel connected with the object that I’m drawing in such a way that I can feel, touch, taste, smell and hear it. Later on this process of deeply connecting will help me to make a collage out of the sketch.
So, I know where it starts but I don’t know when and where it ends.  The question is “Does it ever end? When do you say a work is complete? Does a work need to be complete in order to feel perfect or beautiful? Does my physical body need to be complete in order to be whole?  All are issues I’m dealing with in my life as a hard of hearing person.
To talk about the next part of my artistic practice: making collages also is such a feast for the senses. It’s pure excitement- tearing out papers of magazines, feeling their texture , seeing colourful papers spread over the table, the smell of glue and paint, the sound of the scissors cutting out little tiny shapes, arranging them in new shapes…

And when finally something ‘beautiful’ appears there on the paper, even not finished yet… I feel I’m again ‘coming home to myself’ in that one single moment. Then I feel whole and at home in my body, which is a profoundly healing and important experience for me.

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