Ongoing during the entire festival
At Extra City and Morpho, we assemble all the participating visual artists. Nathan French, Yamuna Forzani, Denys Shantar, Anna Urazova, Laurent Poisson and Hussein Shikha present drawings, paintings, installation, textile art and sculptural work in an eclectic group exhibition.
At Kavka Oudaan, Urazova and Poisson share the expo room. At The Other Space you can enjoy more work by Nathan French and Yamuna Forzani.
Originally a fashion designer making wearable art, NATHAN FRENCH blended his sculpting skills with over 10 years of fashion design experience. French’s evolution into sculpture allowed him to experiment with an innovative and eclectic palette of materials such as crystals, textures and pigments. The human quest for identity and its intricacies are the main focus of his work. As a person grows and changes, so do his crystals, organically over weeks, creating complex formations of their own.
Ukrainian born DENYS SHANTAR often uses his own memories and those from others as a starting point and deploys different materials in order to create narratives which lie between reality and fiction. Shantar tries to make personal stories accessible to a wider audience, so others can relate to it and see that someone went through a similar story; ultimately, he wants to show that it’s okay to be different. Shantar also aims to gain visibility as an Eastern European artist and to break certain stereotypes.
HUSSEIN SHIKHA is a multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, writer, and researcher. He was born and raised in Iraq and moved to Antwerp in 2009. He graduated with an MA in visual arts from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. His work deals with the preservation, translation, and digitization of the visual culture from his intersectional experience as an Iraqi-Belgian. Currently, he is doing research on the erasure of handmade Iraqi tapestries and its idea of ‘beauty’ that relates to Islamic art, as a way to de-modernize his creative practices.
ANNA URAZOVA uses organic forms as metaphors. The way a plant grows resembles the development and circularity of feelings and emotions. Flowers don’t have an aim, specific direction, or plan on how to grow. The meaning of their life is to be strong, alive, and fertile. For Urazova, the meaning of life and love is the same.
Everything that happens leaves their seeds, the marks of their presence. Starting with a stroke or line, the artist lets the picture unfold, to grow as if the entire image has existed in embryonic form in the first line. Urazova developed their approach to enter the creative process through meditation: by shifting soft attention deeper in the body, witnessing the core of intention that drives to create, by cutting off all fears and doubts, by allowing to unfold all the unexpressed gestures that reveal and crystallize the image.
Born in France and living in Brussels, LAURENT POISSON grew up on the tiny French island called Mayotte. This is where Poisson had their first memories that kept playing in their head ever since. Pictures of emerald forest, extended blue sea all around, coral reefs.... This, Poisson thinks, explains their pleasure for bright and intense colors that are in their drawings and paintings.
YAMUNA FORZANI is known for their use of colorful fabrics with tags that are inspired by seductive prints and graffiti. Forzani celebrates ballroom culture in a multidisciplinary practice that combines fashion, photography, dance, installation, and social design through inclusive public events. She leaves space to express her artistic and political activism, as a member of the Kiki House of Angels in the Netherlands and an international member of New York’s House of Comme Des Garçons. Forzani’s work is inspired by the body, sexuality, the psychedelic esthetics of the sixties as well as the current imagery of social media.