What does the ideal artist’s studio look like? How much time does an artist spend there? Is it a sacred place? This week in 'The Artist’s studio' series: Michiel Ceulers
Do you visit your studio every day?
No, my practice is currently not such that I can live off it. My job determines the work rhythm.
What time do you leave for your studio, and how: on foot, by bicycle, public transport or car?
My studio is currently just around the corner from where I live, so I often walk there. You can often meet me with a caddy, dragging finds towards studio work.
Do you hold on to certain rituals in your studio? Music or silence?
I've had periods when I worked at night, with loud music playing on repeat; electro and house, or just Steve Reich, whose music fades into the background when I lose myself in the work through concentration, but also gives a certain rhythm and dynamism to my works.
How important is light to you?
Light is important, but no absolute. There are painters who swear by natural light, but that is not so important to me. If your work is shown in a gallery or at an art fair, it is often displayed under hard fluorescent lights.
What does your work process look like? Do you work everywhere and all the time or does work only commence the moment you enter your studio?
I work as a guide in museums and as a teacher at a DKO (part-time art education). At these locations or on my way here I come across many things. I often take pictures or notes on my phone. In that sense, the work never stops.
How much time do you spend on average per day in your studio?
Since I have a temporary studio, the set-up is currently very bare. There is a chair, in an otherwise industrial space. The tiles of the ceiling fall down here and there. In concrete terms, this results in sessions of about four or five hours, but this can increase in the run up to an exhibition.
Is your studio a sacred place?
A studio is certainly not sacred. It is the combination of a physical location and a mental space, a breeding ground where you can try things, and where you’re allowed to fail.
Do you receive visits there; collectors, curators or fellow artists?
I invite a lot of people to the studio. I like to have an extra pair of eyes in my studio every now and then: I think dialogue is important. Also, I often invite people from the field that I haven’t met yet. Apart from networking, I just see that as an obligation for them. After all, they are paid for it: it is their job.
What is the most beautiful studio you have ever seen?
I was very impressed with Marianne Berenhaut's studio. She lives and works in a spacious mansion, where every room is like a treasure trove. I really liked the purity of that place, as well as her brash approach. Another studio setting that I really liked was that of Gust Duchateau. The man does not have a portfolio, but a photo album that I am currently also adding to.
What does the ideal studio look like?
I think my current studio is ideal on many levels. It's big, has great light, it's free, around the corner from where I live and I can trash it because they're going to tear it down soon. I'm currently looking for a new studio, so this is a little shout out too (: