Brecht_KOELMAN

Brecht Koelman is educated as a philosopher. It is only one step from the garden to the Garden, the Garden of Epicurus, this philosophical school that opened to both men and women in 306 BC, where Epicurus taught the way to attain ataraxia, this peace of mind that stems from moderation and harmony in existence, as a foundation for happiness. "The idea of a private garden is a recurring theme in my work," he explains. “I often paint in my own garden and did residences in isolated places, such as Isola Comacina or Vélez Blanco. I liked to maintain the monastery garden in Westmalle and considered entering it. ” The idea of confinement and seclusion here evokes the medieval enclosed garden, the Hortus Conclusus, an iconographic and literary theme in European religious art, mainly in the fields of mystical poetry and Marian representation. " A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed”, we read in the Song of Songs. “The cosmos was reflected in this garden,” continues Brecht Koelman, “as in the oriental gardens. I feel that my work is the resonance of interacting forces that I see in the landscape. This is something that has strong similarities to the concept of ch'i in Taoism, important to many Chinese ink painters such as Zhu Da (Bada Shanren). The brushstroke is therefore a direct answer, a translation of what has been observed, like the Chinese painters translate the ch'i of the landscape into the ch'i of the drawing. This concept of ch'i is similar to that of Rouach, literally the breath, which refers, among other things, to the spirit of God walking through the garden of Eden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3 : 8).