LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
My name is Elia Vanderheyden I come from a smaller city in the rural part of Belgium surrounded by nature but with a rich history in the coal industry and famous for it's landscape painting history for Flemish painters. It is a artistically flourishing place that inspired my artistic career. sadly however there was no artistic higher education in my hometown of Genk so i had to move to Antwerp where i have been living as a student for four years now to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp where I chose to study Printmaking and have been taking a deep dive into the medium of Woodcut. Living in this big metropolitan city has made me look at the world in a different way, it has made me reminisce about my hometown which is covered in greenery and nature. But it has also brought me into contact with a lot of the changes that Climate change are bringing about. Not only have it's protests, and local signs about climate change influenced me but also the city itself has made me realize that a big part of western civilization is living in ways that are not normal to the human individual, big concrete stinking industrial cities with cars and smog everywhere. Where greenery and trees are a rare sight sparking immense joy through rarity, which in fact should not be the case since nature is what has made it possible for humans to exist in the first place. And we should be re-embrace it into our lives. Hence why i have decided to make it my goal as an artist to most of all Inspire others to look at our planet in a different way.
As the human race we are destroying that which has given us a place to grow and develop. It's as if we are feeding our own mother poison, only instead of the famous historic event of King Mithridates IV we are not making the earth immune to our poison. Instead we are giving her to many toxins and she's slowly taking revenge. More and more do we see news articles of devastating events such as droughts, floods, forest fires, etc...
This terrifies me and many other young people hence why i want to carry my own stone in this historic event in hopes of changing the course of history. My work tries to inspire the viewer to think more kindly of the earth and to appreciate it for the beauty that it gives to us. Yet it also shows the viewer how it might look in the future if we keep on doing what we are doing.
Within my work i create landscapes of the future, landscapes of an earth that is yet unknown. One without the human race or one which depicts the second that our traces are erased. The works depict what is known biblically as the Escahton event or the Day after the end of the world. The human race is gone and the earth goes on living in it's own way. Unknown to us, even though we have destroyed her capabilities of sustaining humanity we have not destroyed the Earth and she goes on living, creating shapes and things that are never to be known for us.
I depict these landscapes taking inspiration from great romantic painters such as Caspar David Friedrich. Using A.I., I Create new landscapes out of these paintings and start combining several dozen images in Photoshop multiple times over to create something unique and interesting. Hand picking elements from paintings, A.I. and photography to create new worlds that are often unexplainable trough mere text and can only be experienced by each individual in their own way by emerging oneself in the visual elements.
My goal as an artist is to spark inspiration and bring about positive change. Hoping to make the environment something that is import to all individuals, yet my intention is not to scare anyone hence why my inspiration is always romantic painters, using their romantic world view as an inspiration to see that in the end everything will be alright. And whether the human race will no longer exist in 100, 1000, 10 000 or 100 000 000....... years there will still be something beautiful. It just won't be for our eyes. And in a way i find that comforting.
WHO I AM
I'm a young Woodcut artist combining the use of A.I. , Machine and Man in my work.
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