Ghent - UP-AND-COMING - Bram Vanderbeke

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CH Since when are you living in Ghent and where did you study or "learn" to work in the fields of art?

BV I live in Ghent since 2017. I started studying furniture design at the School of Arts (KASK) in Ghent in 2012. Back then I still lived at my parents place which was around 40 min away from Ghent, so I came to Ghent everyday by train for the first 3 years. After that I moved to Eindhoven (NL) to study at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where I graduated in 2016 from the ‘Public Private’ department. After graduating I worked a bit as a freelancer from Eindhoven and Rotterdam but as soon as I could I moved back to Belgium. I remember that I would visit Ghent regularly when I was still living in Eindhoven and every time I was entering the city by car over the viaduct I felt like I was coming home.

CH What makes Ghent a good place to live in as an artist? Why Ghent?

BV Ghent is a small city but a lot of things are happening here. There are two art academies and an architecture academy so a lot of artists are staying in Ghent. Another good thing is NUCLEO, an organization that’s looking for atelier spaces for artists in Ghent. I also have an atelier space with them - a shared atelier where I meet many other artists. Next to that there are also many places for exhibitions and concerts what makes it a very lively city.

CH What are your influences? Did the city influence your work and if yes, in which ways?

BV I take a lot of inspiration from the urban landscape in my work. I look at many elements in the public space and details in architecture. So it happens often that I see a detail or material on the streets of Ghent where I will take pictures of and maybe refer back to at some point in my work. This can go from doorsteps and architectural columns to public benches, lantern poles or railings. What I miss a bit in Ghent is the feeling of getting lost when I’m wandering around. Mainly because it’s a smaller city, and because I lived in it for a while. I love to walk around in a city and discover new things around every corner.

CH If art interested people or fellow artists are visiting you in Ghent, where do you go?

BV I would check if something is going on in Kunsthall, 019, KIOSK, SMAK, Design Museum Gent (they are closed now for a while due to renovation), Barbe Urbain, Atelier Ecru, Tatjana Pieters, Herbert Foundation, Parlor. Next to that I would walk around in the city and visit the copyright art architecture bookshop. I would have a coffee at Labbath with outside furniture pieces by Theo De Meyer, eat something at Steamy Windows or Golden Gai, and check if there are any good concerts at Vooruit or Handelsbeurs.

CH Any particular projects to keep an eye on?

BV I’m very curious to see what will happen in the new Design Museum.

CH What were your personal highlights of 2022 and what are your goals for 2023?

BV Some of the highlights of 2022 are all the great collaborations I did with BRUT Collective, Wendy Andreu, Doorzon Interieurarchitecten and Theo De Meyer, Design Museum Gent, Galerie VIVID in Rotterdam, and Atelier Ecru in Ghent. I’m looking forward to some new exciting collaborations in 2023. I’m working on a book together with Haegeman Temmerman, a new collaboration with Sybren Vanoverberghe, and a solo show at Gallery Hioco Delany, a new gallery space in Antwerp.