ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS
Nadia Naveau - 2012 - Energy in its purest shape [EN, interview]
Energy in its purest shape
Nadia Naveau about her studies at the academy
I studied at the academy from 1994 to 1998. But my first visit was when I was still at secondary art school—I still had to do two years there. I knew right away that I wanted to become a sculptor. I was impressed by the things I saw and I had the feeling there was no time to lose. I did my exams for those two years in one go at the central examining board and I enrolled at the academy. That decision was like scoring a bull’s eye, it felt so right! For four years I worked in a traditional, figurative style under the guidance of Wilfried Pas. Working with clay was self-evident for me. I was mainly busy modelling, but I didn’t want to go on with modelling only figures. Gradually I developed free work, which consisted mainly of assemblages.
In the meantime I had met my boy-friend, the painter Nick Andrews and I started to see things in a different light. I followed the optional course of painting and Fred Bervoets regularly came to see me in my studio. His energy really was infectious. I took up working in two dimensions. I drew, painted, carved in wood, etc. That resulted in bas-reliefs which I then painted as a sort of extension to my drawings. It was only later that I started to make autonomous works, which once more I modelled and then covered with fabric, artificial grass or gold leaf. It was like an accelerated growth process. We were a well-motivated class. Among my fellow students were Caroline Coolen and Bart Van Dijck, who became good friends. There was this constant searching for things, also for spaces where we could work more freely, where we could make larger work, didn’t have to care about the rubbish. In the third year we broke into the Bourla building and that was where I graduated in the fourth year.
I think I learned a lot from Wilfried Pas about figuration and from Fred Bervoets about freedom. Wilfried Pas was rather reserved, but he always hit the mark when he said something. Fred was energy in its purest shape. Last week he was at an exhibition and he kneeled down to look at a work I hadn’t put on a plinth yet, I mean, he wanted to look at it from the right angle—the angle from which I had made it. A master with a very keen eye!”
Montagne de Miel, November 12th 2012