Studio Visit Book Vol. 1


In Studio With Janien Prummel

Janien Prummel

Janien Prummel is a mixed-media artist, living in Antwerp (Belgium), who loves to make collages that bring different pieces together in a new balance. Janien works with paper and fabric that show traces of time. 

In studio conversation with the artist where she shares her day in a studio, her favorite memory from the studio, her recent artworks, and more.

What does a day in the studio look like for you?

Every day is different. I don’t have fixed studio days or a studio routine. I like to start my day with coffee in the studio and then look around. Ideally, I start working on my sketchbook. I make quick collages without too much thought, usually from scraps of paper and fabric lying around. That usually gives me a good workflow. Then I continue working on the series currently in progress. Sometimes I work on them for a long time, sometimes I just move a few pieces around. Depending also on my mood, I work fine and embroider on some collages or feel the need to tear books apart.
I like to alternate occupations, such as framing works, managing my webshop and sending collages by mail, taking photos ..etc.

What is your favorite memory or incident from your studio?

Perhaps the day I opened up my studio to people. I haven’t actually shown my work for a very long time. And I certainly didn’t invite people into my studio. The work I made in response to my mother’s dementia process changed that. I wanted to share this work with those around me. I organized an open studio weekend for friends and acquaintances. This experience gave me the confidence to show my work to the world.

Do you have any studio assistants or are you often accompanied by any visitors like pets or kids?

no nothing of that kind

Can you share three of your favorite works from the past and present? Please attach the images in the mail.

No 1 – The theme for this composition is orange. The parts of this composition I found (an old postcard, a piece of wood) or made myself such as a page from the sketchbook, a branch wrapped with thread.

No 2 – A fabric harmonica book containing embroidered sentences. These sentences my mother wrote when she became demented reflect her helplessness. It is her handwriting, embroidered with her threads.

No 3. – During the 2020 lockdown, I created a series around hands and touch called ‘to be touched’. This collage has a base of transparent paper, which I embroidered upon it, and in the hands, I glued loose threads.

How would you describe a dream studio for yourself?

I love my home and the atmosphere of my current studio. But my ideal studio looks different. First of all, the studio is in nature where I have a view of old trees. Opening doors so that I can easily step outside and hear the wind, and the birds and smell nature. It is also definitely bigger than my current studio. It’s higher and more spacious so I can work bigger.

What does your studio smell of right now?

I love the smell of coffee in the studio, especially in the morning. Sometimes it smells musty or like an old attic. This is because of the old books I work with. The books are often very old and when I disassemble the books, that musty, old attic smell rises.

If you get a chance to set up your studio anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Not specific in some country

What are you currently working on?

I work on several projects at the same time. I like to work in series and currently, I am working on a series of collages (A5 size) on paper. Some beautiful torn sheets of paper from books were the starting point. I will probably add small embroidered elements. I am also working on another series of collages on wooden panels. For this, I am working with the beauty of the covers themselves. I choose pieces with a lot of texture, discoloration, or character. In the meantime, I have a commission to create a work of art that will incorporate two book covers with a personal history.

How do you organize your space?

I have a lot of random pieces of paper, cardboard, and fabric lying around on my table. Even the smallest piece has value to me. When I have a need for an order I put them in boxes. I prefer old wooden boxes. It is important that they are open, so I can keep an eye on the content.

Favorite corner in your studio?

I have a few spots in my studio where I make 3D compositions. I stack materials on top of each other such as pieces of fabric or hang objects. I place various objects together based on color shape or atmosphere. I love these mini displays, they offer a different view into my world.

Read more about Janien Prummel on her Website and Instagram.

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