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My journey into the other world is over. I had to get out.


Gabriëlla Cleuren Art

August 31 · Issue #101 · View online

What I make, write, read, hear, see and visit as an expressive, spontaneous, systematic artist.

The website Gabriella Cleuren is in Dutch and partially in English.
Further can you also buy work from me on the multi-lingual website Singulart.

My inspiration was no longer fed from outside. My health was in need of iodine. Then I found an address. To the sea then! Brittany was out of the question: too far. Then closer to home: the Opal Coast. A beautiful coast, they assured me in Brittany. I never went there, but now this was my only range. A friend gave me the address. A beautiful house, unique garden: cultivated and wild, tasteful decoration and possibility of internet, sea at walking distance. It also turned out to be surrounded by fields and hills full of grain or oats that lay dormant in a pink glow. Beautiful hills, sky-high from my window and as I walked, first along the white concrete road to the opening that led to the sea and beach, with endless noise of grinding stones. A bunker separated the beach to the left and right and its roof gave an ample view of the sea and the beach, full of stones: flint mixed with chalk. There she was, the Cape Blanc Nez, sparkling white like a jewel with the blue swell of the water that lapped at the edges with a bubbling sound that constantly rang in the ears.
On the narrow beach a few visitors, sitting on a stone or staggering on blue stones. It was high tide. The walkway was narrow, the people present: a few! The path leading to it looked like a place of pilgrimage. Strings of people in a row walked through the fields. A parallel field road showed them from a distance. Hills of grain sloping behind them and on the paths upwards tiny hikers who preferred the height to the sea and looked panoramic probably. A beautiful sight, I suppose, but I preferred the fields and the dry footpaths as in my childhood, swaying grain as far as the eye could see, a bright green beet field with a husband and wife weeding the weeds right in the middle. A group of bright red poppies added value to the green.
From there, you came to a height full of herbs, wild white flowers, bunches of camels, poppies and purple thistle flowers as I have only seen them as a child. And white, pink and ochre grasses.
The cliffs were littered with them, but forbidden because of the danger of collapse. The view behind a low wire was unique, a dream of naturalness and ecology. From there, a path winds up to another bunker, winding up to the highest point. It was worth the effort. When you sat on the roof, an up and down of soft green roads opened up, along the sea and suddenly the beach appeared in the depths in long strips next to it. Opposite, in forbidden territory, two young people were looking into the depths. How wildly romantic with that blue sea as a backdrop on a protrusion of German war casemates, remnants of the 2nd World War. (The Germans had dug in here because an attack from England was expected and you could see Dover white-knuckled like a jagged ribbon on the far side). This remnant would be sturdy, daring of course, but very tempting. The view into the depths was breathtaking. What if I dared to do it later? Little people on a beach with cobalt-coloured strips of water, a group of horses diving into the sea and then disappearing from my field of vision. I could not hang over the peak. A few passers-by in my v-shaped field of vision passed by. Then I started to retreat.
The field road was littered with blue and white shards, like broken Delft blue. Some looked like animal heads (others anonymous), which I then picked up and took home. On the stone beach I found skeletons of goats and dogs and seals, if you wanted to see it, and sometimes a primal sculpture of a woman. At home, I arranged them on the wooden chimney, which otherwise looked bare. Later, I walked along the sterile field road and saw the rows of people moving like a procession towards the sea opening.
On small folding sheets I quickly sketched what was moving, wrote colour for later and filled in the indicated notes at home. I took the lovely spontaneous scribbles home as a souvenir.
I couldn’t sketch outside for very long. This is how my little exercises are caught up on. A conversion can happen later, I’ll see what I do with it.
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Gabriëlla Cleuren, Van Landeghemstraat 86, B-9100 Sint-Niklaas +32 3 777 6776