"I want to turn that cold metal into something soft and feminine"
— Bregje Sliepenbeek
They don't beg for attention, but once they grab it, they won't let you go. The metal works of art by Bregje Sliepenbeek (33) are enchantingly beautiful and can now be admired (and bought!) At FEST Antwerp. Bregje is one of the artists we work with. Because we believe a beautifully designed space makes you happy. Pretty and fun furniture helps a lot, as does art. Who is this woman who weaves with metal?
How would you describe your work? “My style is serene and timeless. The chain works I make are quite understated. It isn't distracting, that's why they pretty much fit any interior. The works are actually on the edge of interior art: folding screens, tapestry, that kind of vibe. That's why I think it fits well with FEST."
Where do you get your inspiration from? “Actually, my work stems more from material research than from a specific source of inspiration. I don't start with a set plan in mind. I just start by messing around with the materials a bit: creating double layers, incorporating metal, lay it out differently. I let it arise. In that sense, the material is my source of inspiration.”
Why metal? “I studied goldsmithing at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. But the thing is: I don't really like the cold and slick characteristics of metals. I want to change it, turn it into something soft and feminine, make it fluid.”
“Two years ago I spent a month in Morocco, in the middle of the Sahara. There, a girl taught me how to weave. Once I was back in the Netherlands, I started doing that on a larger scale with metal. It's basically a textile approach to a cold, hard metal. I find that contrast interesting.”
What is your favorite moment in the process? “To hang it when it's done! I really enjoy watching it create the movement I had in mind." “Another moment I like is when you do something and notice it works. Sometimes that happens very sudden and quick and sometimes it takes ages."
You've made a playlist for FEST, what do you listen to when making your metal works? “The music I also put in the Bregje x FEST playlist: nice background music, nothing too distracting. The work I do can be pretty monotonous; just tying chains together for hours. That's why I always listen to music or podcasts. I have all kinds of different lists: daytime, evening, Sunday, anything. I get very cranky when I can't find something suitable to listen to.”
Do you have a nice podcast tip? “Invisibilia, an American show about things you don't see but are there. Difficult to explain, but in principle they show psychological patterns based on personal stories. I highly recommend it!”
What do you think of the collab with FEST? “I love it! I have to admit that my own interior mostly consists of thrift shop and Marktplaats finds, but my works fit very well with FEST. The furniture often has simple, clear lines and is very colorful. My chain works aren't, but I think that's why it works well together. Just like the contrast between the soft fabrics of the furniture and the hard metal of my artwork."