What’s there to know about Annabelle Milon? I am 27 years old and have been living in Brussels since 2007. I moved from France to Belgium to study at La Cambre. I graduated from the Printmaking Department three years ago. Since then I have my own studio in Vilvoorde that I share with a painter, Kristien Jaspers.
I was very lucky when last year an old belgian printmaker gave me an old Ledeuil etching Press, the deal being that I was to give it myself to somebody else when I would retire, just like he did.
I work daily in my studio, on my own projects but also on private orders.
Why did you choose printmaking as a medium? During my enrollment at La Cambre I chose printmaking out of curiosity. In the end I stayed in that department for five years and I have to admit that was thanks to my professor Maurice Pasternak. He inspired me to dig deeper into printmaking. He also shared his greats skills and savoir-faire with his students. During this time I experimented many techniques and came to the conclusion that this medium offers lots of possibilities. I enjoy the idea of creating contemporary art using a medium often considered old fashioned and ignored.
Since I only practice printmaking, a bit like a craftsman, I focus on a permanent link to the technique. Also the connection to the matrix, which during a period of time makes the image absent to the eye, makes me work in a kind of abstraction that I really appreciate.
What is your work about thematically? I am dealing with representation in general. In those researches I tackle several important problems such as identity, language and power. Time has a special role as well because on the one hand the process is slow and on the other it is related to the aforementioned themes.
These days I am less afraid of following my instinct, however all work remains heavily influenced by the themes I mentioned.
Identity is probably my main topic… the representation of women: not so much from a political point of view. More about how to represent women and the underlying question of what defines a woman.
Can you tell us about your process ? How do you work ? I work very slowly. I need a lot of time to start doing something. I can think about a project for months. Each of my project starts with a collection of pictures and texts that surrounds me in my studio. I archive them and, after a while, ideas come out and then the choice becomes obvious. I work in a kind of confusion and without producing anything until I finally realize what I was looking for in the first place. Then the process of the work is to question the truth of this realization .
What other artists are an inspiration to you? Most of my artistic inspirations are very ancient. I am fascinated by Byzantine frescoes, mosaics, all the iconography from the Middle Ages and by lots of paintings (Francisco de Goya, Artemisia Gentileschi, Vincent Van Gogh, Gilles Aillaud, George Baselitz…). The prints of Dürer and Goya inspired me a lot as well. I am appreciative of the work of some female artists like Camille Claudel, Meret Oppenheim, Francesca Woodman, Yvonne Rainer, Andrea Fraser and Chantal Ackerman. I also draw inspiration from authors like Robert Walser, George Bataille, Giorgio Agemben, Hannah Arendt… and from cinema (Nouvelle Vague, film noir…).
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