During our Exectly for Women event on Thursday, 30 June 2022, we were honored to have Caroline Pauwels, former prorector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, as guest speaker. The event took place at the lovely Schönfeld Gallery in Brussels.
Our guests had the privilege of viewing a captivating art exhibition curated by Caroline Pauwels – through the lens of different media, such as photography and fashion – showcasing eight female artists: Paulette Taecke, Liza François, Janine Vandebosch, Lidia Szynkiewicz, Svelte Thys, Bénédicte Lobelle, Roxane Baines and Anne Germe.
In life, I mostly chose science. So why art? Because fascination in science is the same as for artists: marveling at the things you don’t expect to see at first sight. It’s a beautiful thing when science and the arts meet, as they challenge each other and ask important questions. Art and science are my inhaling and exhaling.
“Summertime and the living is easy” seemed ill-timed as the war in Ukraine continued to rage, whilst Caroline Pauwels curated the exhibition with Greet Umans. But it turned out that the opposite was true. I remember seeing shots of Ukrainian people coming out of their basements amid the warfare to plant sunflowers in the pavement, such a symbolic flower for Ukraine, a lust for life and wonder. By now, the war still continues, cultural life in Kiev starts to pick up again with theater and concerts. Especially in those dark moments, humans appear to crave art, culture, connection, and, yes, carelessness. A summer exposition that wants to be colorful, fragrant, happy and a bit languid, was no longer inappropriate, but a necessity,” said Caroline Pauwels.
The “common thread” throughout the exposition is a slowing down, going back to the essence of life, the languor and the easy-going pace of the summer. The exposition doesn’t focus on “chronometrical” time, but on going with the flow; when you visit and look at the art, you get into a flow where time stops.
In the expo, Caroline brought together female and intergenerational artists from different disciplines: paint, photography, fashion and ceramics. Each one of them brought that summer feeling through their specific medium, and the same energy and engagement towards nature and our planet. At first sight, the expo looked colorful, happy and naive, but at the same time there was a more serious undertone. That is also represented by the art: the song “Summertime, and the living is easy” (a line made famous in the George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess) has a somewhat sad undertone and reminds us that the vibrant summer always comes to an end and should therefore be experienced to its fullest. The expo represents that impermanence, languor and happiness.
The eight female artists
The fascinating art exhibition curated by Caroline Pauwels – transcending different mediums such as photography and fashion – showcased eight female artists: Paulette Taecke, Liza François, Janine Vandebosch, Lidia Szynkiewicz, Svelte Thys, Bénédicte Lobelle, Roxane Baines and Anne Germe.
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