I heart Belgium. Honestly- where else are so many amazing comic artists and comic lovers packed into such a small place? in the last month I was lucky enough to be invited back twice for two different projects. First up was the world renowned Passa Porta literary festival featuring a host of brilliant writers from all over the world including the wonderful A S Byatt- swoon. We were invited for the festival, to run workshops and give talks and to see our work displayed at the stunning Belgium Strip Centre.
Passa Porta and Ilke Froyen in particular were responsible for bringing the world of comics to the world of literature with the Brussels in Shorts project that I wrote about in an earlier post. It was one of the best organised projects i’ve ever had the pleasure to be part of and included a 2-week residency, published book and exhibition of the 12 international artist’s work. It was great to finally meet the other artists who were brilliant and included: Frederik Van den Stock, Tomáš Kučerovský, Elric Dufau, Stedho, Conz, Paula Bulling, Salissou Maman Oumarou, Eva Hilhorst, Wauter Mannaert, William Goldsmith, Antonio & Carlos Segura Donat.
Next up was the T+A+G event at Beursschouwburg I was invited to along with the wonderful British artist Hannah Berry. It was organised by a group of Belgium students who I had once lectured to on the comic degree at Sint Lukas in Brussels. Each of the 14 artists involved had to design a tote bag which was auctioned off (mine was a blue portrait of Frida Kahlo). The ‘popularity contest’ of an auction was incredibly nerve wrecking for Hannah and I, as I’d never experiences it before. But it was great to see all the fantastic young artists the country keeps churning out and to be able to visit Brussels again.
I also managed to make my first Lino cut at a workshop held by the talented Sien De Luyck and Hannah and I managed to pay a visit to Belgium’s own pee meister as this was her first time in Brussels. Thank you so much to Sarah Vierstraete and the T+A+G team for inviting us!