Gerda Steegmans (° 1964) studied ceramics at the Provincial Higher Art Education (PHIKO) in Hasselt and obtained her master's degree at the National Higher Institute in Antwerp in 1989 (NHISKA).
Since then she has exhibited at home and abroad.
She participated in symposia in China and in Gmunden Austria.
As a child growing up in Haspengouw, she already had her hands in
the greasy earth and made all kind of things in clay. Meanwhile, forty years after her studies, she still continues to play with clay, at the same time linked to the seriousness of the creative process with the necessary professional knowledge. But the fun of kneading and shaping is unchanged.
The history of ceramics fascinates her enormously and how history can be read from it.
Gerda mainly makes small sculptures and uses clay because of its malleability and plasticity. It is the ultimate medium for her. She paints or edits the clay sculptures with clay libs, glazes and pigments. Her ceramic sculptures may or may not be assembled with others materials and are inspired by daily experiences and visual stimuli. Her work is a kind of report or representation of daily impressions. They are a “ manifest ”.
Experiences and sensations during daily walks in the field and environment are recurring topics, but also animal figures as dogs, deer and birds appear.
These images suggest transitions and fading objects. Animal becomes landscape, landscape becomes animal. Seeing and observing things or situations without asking too many questions is important for her work. She looks, admires and remains amazed. Therefore the work is broadly autobiographical. At the same time, she aims in her ‘ poetic visual language ’, for timelessness and universal recognizability.
Nostalgia and desire, fear of loss of originality, beauty and impermanence play a permanent role in this imagination.