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Who is Gabriëlla Cleuren?

September 27, 2017 - Gabriëlla Cleuren

Look at what’s happening

As I child I lived my life unconsciously, I never played with dolls, but painted sticks: grown children. Their clothing was made of small leaves that they were wrapped in, sometimes tied with a thread.

My house was drawn in the soil with my fingers. Already back then I worked visually using nature as my medium, that I chose over and above artificial options that left nothing to the imagination and I thus created a world that was open and offered the possibility of endless variations.


The first step for an artist is to imagine. And I have never abandoned this philosophical aspect in my work. I make a conscious decision to transform images that I find in order to communicate my vision.

The eye for fellow men came later. As a 10-year-old I often had to read out loud in front of the class. Stories about monsters, witches and fairies, but I felt that they were all too unauthentic. Afterwards my creative energies were channelled into music. I also retained this aspect in my paintings as a note and rhythmical movement on the flat surface.

I spent a long time in the Caribbean which is where I acquired a special fondness for colour. Emerald green is my starting point that rapidly transforms into aquamarine. A Mediterranean colour. I still paint in the same way. I start with water, with the sea.


The changing world makes a deep impression on me. The world of Goya pops up everywhere. Suddenly I saw the era I live in through his eyes. It was no different. How was this possible? We had moved on 200 years. Don’t humans evolve mentally?


I collect images that confirm this and I transform them creatively into a contemporary form with an emotional touch. Free interpretation has to

go in a certain direction and the emotional aspect is essential for me.

I try to bear testimony to the evolution of the world.

It is my time, it is your time.

Brave New Old Worlds

This is why I have bundled the works together in a series: BNOW: new, old world.

Human behaviour plays a central role in it. The form is often fragmentary, fluctuating towards the abstract, raw like the content. Form and content are one.

I take you by the hand

My Brave New Old World is always a personal reflection. A testimony, but coloured by how I see thing, my thoughts, my emotions, my technique. Very personal to me. Never perfect.

The ego-reality has an untold charm. At the same time it is a mirror in which we can look.

Philosophy versus technique

My work is not decorative. It is a philosophical representation of my time, my environment and an analysis of myself: awareness. That is what I want to share with my audiences (do the same): the flaws are digested and transformed into beauty. They are pictures about hope.

I use all of this very spontaneously. I go for acrylic on paper (black), sometimes linen. But my semi-solid touch works better on paper. It is direct, stays in place and does not run off or sink in. Behind glass it is perfectly protected. It’s like a varnish and has depth.

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