The young Belgian artist, Féline Minne, is showing her new work, 'My San Francisco' - a series of 1950’s animation film background inspired paintings.
‘Being an artist is kind of like playing god, I can create an alternative, personal universe.’
Féline Minne is at present in her final year of a Painting MA at the Royal College of Art, London. She holds a BA with great distinction (1st) in animation filmmaking from KASK Ghent, Belgium. She did an Erasmus exchange at the Kunstakademie Münster, Germany, and worked and travelled in Canada for a year. She is a published author in her native language, Dutch. She has translated her debut novel, ‘Medea and I’, which was nominated for the Bronze Owl 2014 and the Debut Prize 2015 of boek.be. 'Medea and I' is an autobiographical coming of age story about her childhood. She grew up with her hippie grandparents while her dad was in jail and her mother was travelling the world as a model. Her second novel, ‘The Art World and I’, is a metafictional, existential story about a young artist, loosely based on her experiences in art school.
Her dreamlike paintings show stories without beginnings or endings. 'The Stairs' lead to nowhere and everywhere. The paintings mean nothing and everything. The artist is constantly looking for a feeling of wonder. 'Wishing Window' and 'Wisdom Teeth' show that she welcomes randomness. Randomness like a roll of the dice in Luke Reinhardt’s, ‘The Dice Man’. Her way of composing an image is informed by the big bang and how atoms behave randomly.
Her interest in play can also be seen in her other series of paintings called ‘Tetris’. She is serious about the importance of play and often refers to Donald Winnicott’s theories about play and reality. It has been proven that playing Tetris helps people with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Tetris is like life. A lot keeps coming at you, and you have to give it all a place. Sometimes there is not enough time. Then it accumulates and holes appear everywhere. If it works well, a few rows disappear and that feels great: release. This act of play describes her way of working. She works intuitively. She always paints straight from the heart and her imagination.
By the age of twelve, she was capable of drawing hyper-realistically, but she found that very boring. She is not interested in showing how well she can draw or paint, but in the emotional narrative, playfulness and the feeling of wonder in the image. She is interested in fiction; in her opinion, art is about leaving reality and creating a different world.
She doesn’t like to be asked why she became an artist, because she says it wasn’t a choice. She was bullied in school. The bullies said she was weird, but good at drawing. She was never good at communicating verbally in a group. Her way of communicating is through painting, drawing, writing and she’s deeply interested in stories.
‘I guess I had different interests than the other kids in school and that’s why they found me weird. They all said that I was good at drawing, and they often asked me to draw things for them. Although I was socially awkward, the fact that they respected me as an artist, made me feel that I deserved my place in the world and that I was allowed to exist.’
The first painting you see on the left when you enter the exhibition is called 'Frida’s Bathroom'. It refers to the conflict between Rothko and Warhol. Rothko thought that, with his colour field paintings, he was the end of art history. But then, all of a sudden, Warhol started painting Micky Mouse. This upset Rothko so much that he committed suicide. ‘Frida’s Bathroom’ is Féline Minne’s response to both. There will never be an end to art history. Art history is a never-ending story.