28 May 2021
This new series, Design bites, unveil the backstage of contemporary creation. Tackling various topics from personal designer processes to the position of Collectible design on the global design market; these bites offer different views to suit all tastes. Today we talk with Jeanette Van Rossum, director of 12wyk.
COLLECTIBLE: What tips would you give to a collector who wishes to start collecting contemporary design?
Jeanette Van Rossum: Ceramics is a niche in the art world. People often link it to craftsmanship. Making pots and pans. You know, household utensils. Archaeology learns us that from the very prehistoric ages, mankind has been making clay objects. Not just out of a functional necessity, but also for aesthetic purposes. What I would like to show the world and art collectors, is this artistic aspect along with the variety of artists who have been generating art through baking clay. With my gallery, I want to put an end to the underestimation of ceramics as an art form, a status ceramics still cannot seem to get rid of.
“ With 12wyk, I want to put an end to the underestimation of ceramics as an art form, a status ceramics still cannot seem to get rid of.”
C: An interior designer you dream to work with?
JVR: I am very much into interior designing. I like beautiful objects and I enjoy creating an atmosphere by picking the right furniture, colours and materials. I look at my home interior as if it was an extension of my own personality. This is why I am convinced I should just do it myself. A couple of years ago, I restyled this old 1878 police office and turned it into my own home, atelier and gallery. It was a creative hub which has been photographed for various magazines. It was a magnificent place to showcase ceramic treasures and it was wonderful to see how their shapes added to the interior.
C: How did you get into collectible design? Why did you start your gallery?
JVR: It all started off very organically. Actually, I was looking for a spot to show my own ceramic art. At the time, I still lived in the old 1878 police office I mentioned, in a trendy neighbourhood near the docks. I had my atelier in this place and it was big enough to set up an exhibition. So I had my first solo show in my own atelier. It was quite successful, and I decided to also show the work of other contemporary ceramic artists, which would complement my own artistic aspirations. Sadly though, we sold the place and we moved my atelier and exhibition place to the centre of Antwerp. As soon as I settled down there, I began organising international exhibitions. This was just when the pandemic was about to break out, so the moving and reorientation parts were quite challenging. I discovered the possibilities of social networking and learned that in hard times like these, creativity and resilience are crucial. The classic way of having exhibitions is not necessarily the right and only way. This is why I find it so interesting to take part in this online edition of COLLECTIBLE.
C: What have you been up to recently? What are the next projects or exhibitions you wish to highlight?
JVR: I have been physically running a gallery for two years, but now I am only going to focus on the online representation of my artists. This recent pandemic taught me this formula suits me best. It is less static and a better fit to my personality. I also bought a new place in Italy. This will give me a lot of freedom to organize art events, happenings, residences and exhibitions.
12wyk is an Antwerp-based gallery presenting ceramic art. Established in a former police station designed in 1877 by the renowned architect Pieter Dens, the gallery embraces a functional approach to ceramic design and art and retains a strong focus on sculptural and architectonic ceramic art.