World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 334 - Annemieke Fanoy

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 334 - Annemieke Fanoy

Annemieke Fanoy lives in a village in northern France. I met her at the Open Ateliers of the art building Ruilstraat in Rotterdam. She has a flock of sheep in northern France. In her works it is primarily about the process.

Annemieke Fanoy is originally from Zeeland (Vlissingen). She went to the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam where she graduated in 2002 (BA Fine Arts). She worked as a visual artist in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeeland.

In 2016 she obtained a Master's degree in Fine Arts at St. Lucas in Antwerp. In 2014 she had started Spaceburo, an artists' initiative in Antwerp, with her Belgian partner. They had an Artspace with garage bar. But after a few years it became increasingly clear to her that she belonged outside the city.

Coincidence and control

Annemieke Fanoy: “For a few years now I have been working full-time in a village in the countryside in northern France. There I keep sheep whose wool I use in my work. It makes me feel connected to the place. My motivation to incorporate our new place in my work has to do with the research and interaction between chance and control. I am very inspired by how we occupy the outer-urban space, what exactly is going on there?”


Annemieke Fanoy follows natural processes in multi-year projects. In the period 2011-2012 she worked in Zeeland on the 'Wissebad project' in the village on the Oosterschelde, Wissenkerke. In the years that followed, from 2012-2016, she investigated a bend in a dike on the Oosterschelde a few kilometers away. “I followed the processes there, but I also participated in the place, picking things up, digging holes, collecting colors, waste and plants. I then continued working in my studio, grouping and making series. Photography and video always function as time slots and switching moments in the collection of works.”


How would you describe her theme? Annemieke Fanoy: “The central theme in my work is LOCATION.
I work around a place: an area as an entity. I play with that through various research areas.”

The location, the place, is an ongoing thing for her. “A elongated present, as it were, and intangible to man because life is short. That's why I move through a place and intervene with small things. It seems impossible as an individual to take or form a position. I reflect on these natural processes through drawings, images and paintings, but also through photography and video.”

Biological view

Her own piece of land in France is a loved research area. “I work very practical in nature with my hands and follow the often surprising weather influences closely. My flock of sheep is an essential part of that. My piece of land is varied and there are parts that I consciously don't do anything with. The biological view is of value in my work because it makes connections understood and allows outside influences.”

And in this way various abstract series have been created over the years. “Hill works, garden drawings, paintings and collages of woven wool. I mark connections by recording them with video and photography. In this way I also adjust the creation process. I move around the place, but don't always take the same position. Working there gives the place new and different meanings. I leave a lot to chance. That makes the result more uncertain and all the more interesting.”

Mental Maps

We can't control the great things in life, she realizes. “I can only influence the small day-to-day matters. Gaining insight may sound better, but the works are more like springboards for new works than they want to establish or confirm a new academic order.

My work gives me the opportunity to travel mentally in my studio. My drawings can be read as mental maps.”

Key work

Does Annemieke Fanoy have a key work? “A few times a year I have a work that acts as a turning point. In that sense they can be called key works that a new series is always produced. Painting and drawing propels my oeuvre further.”

“My latest wool and sheep project is slowly developing until it's right. Wool takes up light and color beautifully and has so much identity that for me it's good in itself, the smell, the touch. I am fascinated by the idea that you can easily roll up and move a woolen work, send it out into the world without having to stay with it yourself. It is strong and durable.”


What is her philosophy? Annemieke Fanoy: “My artistic philosophy is one of following movement and processes. The show moments are in the city because there is an awareness of what art could be and the possibility to link up with an art tradition. There is a social space for art there, in the countryside this is scarce.

But I get my inspiration from the open space, outside the cities. I feel very connected to the organization and issues of the countryside, the coast and everything we call extra-urban: the materials of the land, colours, phenomena such as the weather, the space of the sea."

Images: 1 - 9) works Annemieke Fanoy (photo 4 and 9,  photography: Peter Cox), 10) portrait Annemieke Fanoy



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