Catching up with a few posts about my trip to Belgium and UK last November/December. Sometimes though when your head is buzzing with the present, it is really hard to go backwards in time to record happy travelling times. I think these memories cement in the mind but are harder to extricate and record verbally as time passes. This post is about the couple of days in Belgium.
The Northern Hemisphere really knows how 'to do' Christmas. Brussels and Ypres were awash with Christmas spirit and cheer. And of course Belgium knows how to do CHOCOLATE. Yum. Funnily enough, chocolate addict that I am, it hadn't occurred to me until we were feasting on chocolate visually through shop window decorations that the penny dropped that I was in Belgium - home of my favourite Belgium chocolate. Oh gosh all the windows were beautiful .....
|and the streets full of shoppers (and no doubt other chocolate lovers)|
|decorations and rooftop golds gleaming in the evening light|
|would love to have some of these Paul Klee cushions - especially that bottom right hand one|
This was a very sobering experience as we realised that each of these names on the wall represented the death of a soldier. Someone's husband or son, brother or father. We were both very heavy hearted as we wandered about. Of the approximately 300,000 soldiers killed in and around Ypres, 90,000 have no known grave.
Ypres is surrounded by city walls - a beautiful way to see the town especially with this extraordinary light.
Before heading to the Exhibition we met up with Saskia Maeyaert who is the lady responsible for the idea of this Exhibition and with a small group, its organisation. I think meeting Saskia was the highlight of my trip to Belgium - only wish we had more time though she gave up much of hers having lunch and the afternoon with us. The exhibition was marvellous - beautifully set up as you can see from these photographs and the work of a really high calibre. We all received very comprehensive catalogues which we will treasure. There is so much talent out there.
This was my absolute favourite piece and was one of the winners of the bookbinding section of the exhibition. The work is by Ile Declerck from Belgium. It is a lead book with transfers of images and texts and I really really want to know how to do this as it is sublime. I will be writing to her.....
There were dozens and dozens of books to admire and covet, though knowing we had a catalogue, I didn't photograph many, besides which I was way too entranced. Some of the calligraphy however led me that dream space where you think that 'if in another life .... you could/should/want to be ...' Anyway, a calligrapher I am not but these images come pretty close to my ideals of a combination of painting and calligraphy.
|Another artist from Belgium - Yves Leterme.|
|Inge Vos from the Nederlands|
|And another Belgium artist - Veerle Missiaen. This, another winning piece, stretched a few metres across the wall when open and was presented that way.|