Interview with Els Wenselaers, Belgian ceramic artist

Interview with Els Wenselaers / Spotlight
By Ileana Surducan
Published in Ceramics Now Magazine Issue 2

What made you choose ceramics as a way of expressing yourself?

Clay is as good as any other medium, it is a material with lots of possibilities but it doesn’t influence my personal perception of art. Sometimes because of its limitations in format, in height, due to the measures of my kiln I have to find other solutions than I used before, but that are technical issues. I have also used other materials like papier maché before but the outcome of my figurines would be the same.

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Els Wenselaers

Els Wenselaers contemporary Belgian ceramics

Els Wenselaers' profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

“I am currently using ceramics and mixed media. My work is characterized by a reflection of contemporary society with a subtle humor and a tendency to idealize. I make works that stand alone, as well as installations.

The ceramic figures of ‘Sisyphus Work’ are condemned to an inevitable and senseless action. The titles that I use are referring to an existentialism in which an absurd figure plays the main role, extending far beyond the limits of vanity. They perform actions, although they realize that life is without meaning, but they stubbornly refuse to take the escape routes of death or faith. Spraying grass green, air exchange systems which are much too small to have any effect, machines that suck volatile odors, trying with mental control to move a vehicle. Again, and again, and again. Acceptance of the fundamental emptiness is the only thing that’s left.

The “Human Hybrids” installation is about the possible consequences of genome manipulation and malleable man. Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism’s genome using modern DNA technology. In examining the effect of specific genes, scientists have already made a fish that glows under UV light, pork with spinach genes, goats which produce spider’s web and there is also a Genmouse with super muscles that is protected against obesity.” Els Wenselaers

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Els Wenselaers: Racemouse, 2009, 38 x 40 x 38 cm, Ceramics, leather, metal, wood, leather case with painted text on it

Els Wenselaers: Racemouse, 2009, 38 x 40 x 38 cm, Ceramics, leather, metal, wood, leather case with painted text on it

Els Wenselaers: Human Hybrid with Racemouse, 2009, 25 x 80 x 30 cm, Ceramics, white glaze, slibs, leather, rubber, metal

Els Wenselaers: Human Hybrid with Racemouse, 2009, 25 x 80 x 30 cm, Ceramics, white glaze, slibs, leather, rubber, metal