First symbolic expression of mankind, jewellery goes back to over 100 000 years ago where Neanderthals were carefully crafting strings of eagle claws to wear around their necks. Used to this date to symbolize social status, identity, religious affiliation or sentimental attachment, everyone knows and recognizes jewellery. With such deep roots in our society, it was a natural choice for Liesbet Bussche to put jewellery as a central theme into her work. Is she a conceptual artist? A jewellery designer? A visual artist? Well it’s up to you to decide, but to me, she is a harmonious mix of them all.
Coming from a background of cinematography and journalism, Liesbet made a shift in her career by going back to school and study jewellery design. Aiming for a broader audience than the traditional stream to showcase jewellery, she decided to go big and bold, working her way around the city, most of the time creating larger than life jewellery in public spaces.
Her work is most of the time oriented on icons and archetypes, but Liesbet has a special attachment to pearl necklaces. It is a recurrent subject in her work. The beautiful shape of the pearls, their simplicity and repetition but also the iconic role they have in fashion and society with Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn just to name a few, are some of the reasons why she finds it a fascinating subject to work with and keeps on coming back exploring this topic.
Where does Liesbet get her inspiration? For her two-dimensional work, she can collect images from Internet or stumble upon articles, inspiring her new ideas, new projects. For her three-dimensional work, she goes outside, walks, combine thoughts and images. She then starts the creative process, finding the right materials and adapting her concept to her vision. Her work is so diverse that she can’t pick the work she is most proud of to this date. Her critical eye is in fact what keeps her going on and making her art evolve. She does have heroes that she looks up to like John Körmeling, the Dutch architect/visual artists/urban planner/freethinker or like Christoph Fink, a Belgian artist whose work revolves about movement, open space and travel.
Liesbet Bussche is now exhibiting for the first time in a gallery at Artelli, an energetic
and lively contemporary art gallery in Antwerp showcasing her recent work: “Casually dropped pearl necklaces”.
Her concept? Exhibiting, simultaneously on the street of Antwerp and in the gallery, posters of various shapes of pearl necklaces, for which she carefully cut out the pearl necklaces, leaving only a blank outline. The background you choose to place it against will form the pearl necklace.
There are five different designs, in a series of fifty, which have been glued at different places around the city. When people come into the gallery and see the five larger designs, delicately framed onto a wooden backing, most of them remember seeing the design somewhere in the city. After having this “Aha!” moment, people immediately feel more connected to the work.
Currently researcher at the St Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp and teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam, Liesbet certainly has a busy schedule but she still finds the time to work and develop two new exciting projects. So make sure to keep up with her work via her Facebook Page – Liesbet Bussche – and to check out her website www.liesbetbussche.com!
Her work is currently exhibited at Artelli Gallery in Antwerp until January 5th, 2017 alongside with 10 reputable contemporary artists. Don’t miss it!
The Art Connector