Artist(s) in Residence: Ilse Weisfelt & Guerrilla SPAM

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Guerrilla SPAM‘s artistic residency has come to an end. Andrea stayed in Breda for two weeks, where he researched our city and translated it to new prints and a (temporary) mural.

Earlier this year, Dutch illustrator Ilse Weisfelt resided (invited by Blind Walls Gallery and Print Club Torino) in the Italian city of Turin for a few weeks to work on what eventually became ‘Pensieri Dolci’: a beautiful book filled with sketches, pattern experiments, hidden illustrations, fold-outs, linedrawings and other surprises. As Ilse calls it, ‘the perfect souvenir of Turin, even if you’ve never been there yourself.’

Pensieri Dolci by Ilse Weisfelt

From her studio in Rotterdam, Ilse creates colourful and cartoonish illustrations of funny scenes with animals and people. She’s no stranger to us, in 2015 (when Blind Walls Gallery was still in its beginning stages) she created a mural – two actually – at Achter de Lange Stallen in Breda. Last Summer (2021), she also created the design for a unique Blind Walls Gallery Sandwichbike, the grand prize for our photo competition.

Ilse with the Sandwichbike

Ilse immersed herself in Turin life, and Andrea did the same thing in Breda. The Italian collective Guerrilla SPAM was founded in Florence in 2010, as a spontaneous, unauthorised form of resistance and protest in urban spaces. This collective of anonymous artists still alternates between illegal paste ups and legal murals within Italy and beyond.

Breda is quite a change from North-Italian Turin, so Andrea researched our city extensively. He visited Stedelijk Museum Breda, where the blue and yellow ‘eye tiles‘ from the castle of Breda caught his attention. These tiles were made in the 16th century by Italian artist Guido Andreis di Savino, commissioned by Mencia de Mendoza and Hendrik III.

Andrea working at Raaf | Photo by Rosa Meininger

At Grafische Werkplaats Raaf he created a diptych, which depicts his research. He created a blue and yellow print, a reference to the tiles. The yellow print shows the moment when the Arabic geometric motive was formed from a star in the sky. The blue print shows how the artist combines the Arabic motive with the classic, western checkered pattern, and creates the eye tiles.

The ‘yellow print’ by Guerrilla SPAM | Photo by Joost van Asch

The ‘blue print’ by Guerrilla SPAM | Photo by Joost van Asch

In addition to the prints, Andrea also got to work at our Wallspot, where he created a mural inspired by another local artwork. At the Grote Kerk he noticed a painting of Saint Christoper – the patron saint of travellers. During his research he also found a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, which he also took inspiration from. Andrea’s mural at the Wallspot shows a mountain that needs to be conquered by a traveller. Between point A and B there are all kinds of obstacles and characters, these symbolise all the difficulties the traveller encounters on his trip.

Andrea’s mural at the Wallspot is now gone, but luckily we still have some photos!

Andrea’s mural at the Wallspot | Photo by Edwin Wiekens

To conclude both residencies we hosted an Artist Talk at Raaf, in collaboration with BANK15, where Ilse and Andrea talked about their work and experiences.

Ilse during the Artist Talk | Photo by Joost van Asch

 

Andrea during the Artist Talk | Photo by Joost van Asch

These artistic residencies are a collaboration with Print Club Torino.

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