September 29, 2013

From Amsterdam to Brussels via Antwerp

Getting back home from Amsterdam where I spent a short weekend, proved to be difficult, because in the Netherlands, boats always have priority and you might suddenly find your road up in the sky right in front of you. I am sorry I lost part of the head of the man on the boat but all pictures were taken either in a hurry or by iphone or from the car or all of the above. The triangle picture is the "Sportpaleis" in Antwerp (on the picture just up from it) which is an arena originally built for sport events but now, apart from the Diamond Tennis Games,  mostly used as a concert or event hall.  The glass construction in the last picture is what is to become the new home of the Council of the European Union in Brussels.

September 24, 2013


 Museum strolling can be rather tiring, most everyone agrees on that, especially when there is so much for the senses to take in, as was the case for the Fashion Academy exhibit I talked about in my previous post. No better place to sit down, relax, enjoy the best coffee in Antwerp (or the world) than Caffènation. Wonderful smells pervade the rooms, the atmosphere is so relaxing, newspapers and magazines are provided ... in sum: my kind of place. I recommend!

September 22, 2013

Fashion Academy Antwerp 50th birthday


"From 8 September 2013 till 16 February 2014 MoMu will present the exhibition '50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department'. The exhibition is one of the many projects of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp celebrating its 350th anniversary.
The exhibition will highlight various aspects of Antwerp fashion education during the first fifty years of its existence: the department's specific curriculum and its education and evaluation methods, the importance of graphic design in fashion, the various generations of students and their careers, the friendship and emergence of the 'Antwerp Six' (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dirk Bikkembergs) and Martin Margiela, and the graduation projects of some of the most noteworthly alumni.
The exhibition illustrates how diverse the careers of the Academy's alumni are and how this programme has left a mark on the international fashion world".
I am showing work of Sabien Devriendt in photos 2 and 3, first of all because she is the sister of a good friend and second to illustrate the last quoted sentence, because Sabien graduated from the Antwerp Academy in the mid 80's and now lives in Milan, Italy where she is Dolce & Gabbana's bag fashion designer. 

September 19, 2013

Guest photographer Jeroen: "Spicy"

Fun picture by Jeroen v. His work can be seen at

September 16, 2013

La Nation Belge

Rather strange to find a copy of the December 9,  1921 issue of this newspaper, La Nation Belge, glued to the wall in a street of Marseille.  The occasion portrayed is King's Albert visit to the Automobile Fair in the Cinquantenaire in Brussels.  The paper was created in 1918, its publication was interrupted during the second World War, and it disappeared at the end of  the 1950's.

September 13, 2013

Arles, photography

I truly enjoyed visiting the photography exhibition 'Les Rencontres d'Arles' and was, it goes without saying, delighted to find two great Belgian names there, Harry Gruyaert and Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt.

September 10, 2013


On vacation for only a few days but there is no escape from This Is Belgium!
The above photo was taken in Marseille, European capital of culture, 2013.

September 08, 2013

Château de la Poste

 What a gorgeous setting! Château de la Poste outside Maillen is located about 80 km South of Brussels.
The castle was built in 1888-1890. At the end of the 1950s it was used as a vacation place for the personnel of the Postal administration. Private investors bought it 2007 and since 2009 it is a hotel. Wouldn't you love to spend a relaxing weekend there?

September 06, 2013

Margaret Atwood

Yesterday evening, Flagey welcomed Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It was her first visit ever to Brussels. The talk on future, fiction, our environment was entertaining and instructive. Delighted I was there!
You can watch an introduction to her talk here:

September 05, 2013

Guest photographer Chris on Watou, Art festival

Photographs by Chris Vermuyten 

The first work 'Look at me' (2011)  is by  Polish artist Pawel Wocial. 
"A large-scale sculpture that through its form, shape and posture, refers to the Capitoline Wolf from the beginning of the 5th century a symbol of the ancient empire".
"... a modern version of the Capitoline she-wolf, originally a symbol of the capital of the ancient Roman Empire. According to legend, the animal cared for and nourished the twin brothers who became the founders of Rome. Wocial’s wolf has undergone a metamorphosis; she has been stripped of her natural instincts and symbolic dimension. Look at Me is a critical statement on oppressive canons of beauty dictated by the media and popular culture. The work became the inspiration for a collection by Polish fashion and interior designer Maciej Zień, who included sculpture in the scenery of his fashion shows and reproduced images of the wolf on dresses and shirts".
The second sculpture does not belong to the festival in the strict sense but was seen in someone's garden on the way to it. 
Watou, a small village in Flanders famous for more than one reason. It has a population of only 1900. It was a quiet haven during World War I, situated just behind the lines. 
Today, it is know for its summer modern arts festival "Kunstenfestival Watou". 

"Watou is a village in West Flanders surrounded by verdant fields, with old-world charm and a thoroughly modern summer arts festival. Last week, the sun was smiling on visitors eager for the first day of the fifth annual Kunstenfestival Watou, a remarkably abundant blend of visual arts, poetry and music that anchors itself modestly in humanity’s “collected histories. This year’s event is called Concerning the Love We Don’t Understand, and it’s a curatorial triumph, placing the excellence and diversity of Flemish art in an international context alongside works by world-renowned artists such as Marina Abramovic, Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois, as well as artists from across Europe plus Russia, Algeria, Syria and Israel. It is clear that those things we do or do not understand about love unite us across boundaries, races, religions and cultures".

September 03, 2013

Guest photographer Marian, Mechelen,Ommegang and Cavalcade

                       Photographs by Marian Snoecx

I did not keep the promise I made in my last posting and interrupted my Friday evening car ride through Brussels because I stumbled on the internet on these great photos, taken by Marian Snoecx, of a wonderful century old custom in the Flemish city of Mechelen. 
This parade includes the Hanswijkcavalcade (since 1272!) and the Mechelse Ommegang and commemorates the arrival of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and other major events of the city. 
The first photo illustrates "Ros Beiaard", a gigantic horse from the time of Charlemagne, ridden by four brothers. 
Also shown are the city's 15th–17th-century Giants and other serious and humoresque puppets and carts, all typically made on a huge scale.
As shown in the second photo, among the dignitaries in the public are (left to right) Monseigneur Danneels, the Queen and King, and Bart Somers,  mayor of Mechelen. 
If you like to know more about the origins, the history, the religious character of the celebrations, see: