What does the ideal studio look like? How much time does an artist spend in his studio? Is it a sacred place? This week in 'The Artist’s studio' it’s Mark Manders, whose solo exhibition was recently shown at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp.
Do you go to your studio every day?
No, usually five days a week. I don't work on Saturdays and Sundays.
What time do you leave for your studio, and how: on foot, by bicycle, public transport or car?
My new studio is five minutes from where I live, in Ronse. I often go by car.
Do you hold on to certain rituals in your studio? Music or silence?
Three days a week I have help in my studio. Then there is music. The other two days it is quiet. I walk around a lot and then, out of the corner of my eye, I'll see sculptures that just don't work. I enjoy that because I assume that they will end up being really good. Sometimes that optimism is unfounded.
How important is light to you?
My old studio, where I still work, has perfect light through its shed roofs. In my new studio I also have that perfect northern light in one of the rooms. In other rooms I like to work with side light. I do different work there. So the type of light is important to me.
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?
Of course I'm always on my guard. I actually walk down the street with the same optimism as in my studio. Or in the woods. I always hope to see something useful for my work. I also pick up clothespins.
How much time do you spend on average per day in your studio?
I start work at nine and leave at 5:30.
Is your studio a sacred place?
To a certain extent, yes. I can hardly bear an ugly bag of Brico in my studio. Surely it is a kind of precise machine that generates ideas.
Do you receive visits there; collectors, curators or fellow artists?
Yes, at times, but not too often.
What is the most beautiful studio you have ever seen?
My current studio…
My old studio, next to our house, is number two. In winter it is terribly cold there.
In third place is the 'Casa Barragán' in Mexico City. I had an exhibition there about ten years ago. It is so beautiful. Impossible to work there, especially since architect Louis Barragán still seems to be present.
Fourth ranks Huis Van Wassenhove, a brutalist villa in the East Flemish Sint-Martens-Latem, by Juliaan Lampens. I will work there next year and receive visitors.
And of course the Dutch pavilion by Gerrit Rietveld. Incredibly beautiful. It was an honour to have been able to make something in it.
What does the ideal studio look like?
In my view, I have an ideal studio. Plus, Paris is only two hours from Ronse, via Lille. That distance is good.