top of page

Interview | LISETTE VAN HOOGENHUYZE by Iriée Zamblé


What has been a defining moment for you in your practice? The moment I started working with the layered canvases rather than stretching my paintings has been an important step in my research. Combining different methods and techniques in one bigger work and changing the perspective of the conventional painting is still of big importance in my work today. what do the many layers in your work represent? The physical layering in my work came about when I started experimenting with different techniques. I realized how different techniques, such as printmaking versus painting or different styles, such as figurative versus abstract and even within this abstraction (I can go on forever) translate different views, narratives and how they evoke different projections. Draped over a big washing line in my studio the various characters of the canvasses started a dialogue. This is what I wanted to explore and research further in order to be able to direct it. So I think they represent a variety in unity. The sea and the beach culture form an important basis in your work, what does this culture embody for you? and how do you apply this philosophy in your life? The beach or the accompanying leisure culture have always been a great source of inspiration for me. It just fascinated me how easy people let go of the image they live through in the day to day life. Cultural identity fades a little and people are more likely to just enjoy the moment, something we tend to forget lately. I think it has something to do with being able to take a step back. Forgetting or ignoring the day to day life and taking a moment to process. I apply this a lot in my life, by having a quite nomadic lifestyle. The longest time I’ve stayed in one place without interruption in the last few years of my life must have been 5 months. I love changing scenery, meeting new people and taking a few steps back from the normal, safe and set up life I have built in a place. This lifestyle forces me to reflect and to act fast. The combination of the two contradictory acts keeps me on my toes. How do you think the city of Lisbon is influencing your work? Lisbon is a special city. You feel a lot is happening in the creative field, even though everything Is shut down at the moment. The energy of young creative people really stands out. I feel that this city still gives so much opportunities, in comparison to other big European cities. The art scene is small but professional and very ambitious. Everything is connected to each other and there is a healthy sense of communal willingness to create beautiful and worthy projects. The energy I get from this shines through in my work. Lately I have felt more confident to explore and experiment again. Having travelled with your work a lot , what have you experienced with presenting your work in these different contexts? I play with projection a lot. I try to dig into a certain place where the collective memory and the personal experiences in the mind overlap. I want to take the viewer to a recognizable place without having the knowledge where this place is exactly. It’s different for everyone, its a matter of personal memory and projection where this place will be. Because my work is layered and big it kind of fills up a whole room. It has a big impact on the surrounding space. Once I made a work in Mexico city. The studio was too small for me so I decided to work on the rooftop. It was summer in this time so it got very hot very early in the morning. I would wake up daily around 6 to go to the studio building, work until 10 am. By that point it was already at least 28/30 degrees so I would have to stop. The rest of the day I visited all the amazing museums Mexico City has to offer, to come back in the evening and work a little more when the sun was setting. This particular work is 300 x 150 m. When I finished it I had to bring it back to Holland with me. I left all my clothes there and filled my backpack with just the painting and some materials I collected there and of course some souvenirs. At home I stretched it and it was a part of my graduation show in 2019. To see this work stretched on a canvas in the setting of a ‘white cube’ is exactly the strange tension I look for in the work. You can tell the work has been to places, but by just looking at the work you would never guess the backstory. Why is working in so many different contexts important to you and your work? Where the work I made in Mexico City was just one canvas that was stretched, I work with several different canvasses in my installations. Most of the installations consist of various canvasses made in different places in the world. I think this is important for the feeling I want to evoke in my work, that sense of knowing without understanding why, where or how.

1. Lisette van Hoogenhuyze

"Martini at the Pool", 2020

Mixed media

140 x 150 cm x 25 cm

2. Lisette van Hoogenhuyze

"Don’t fuck with cats", 2021

Mixed media

240 x 210 x 30 cm

3. Lisette van Hoogenhuyze

"Snakes and ladders", 2021

Mixed media

230 x 200 x 20cm

* This interview was produced during March of 2021. DUPLEX | Artists in Residence and Lisette van Hoogenhuyze thank the generous availability of Iriée Zamblé to conduct this interview.

bottom of page