BGW Spotlight: Ballon Rouge Collective
Get to know the Gallerists behind Brussels Gallery Weekend! Here, Nicole O’Rourke of Ballon Rouge Collective shares her thoughts on the Belgian design scene and the process behind ‘OF ALL THE THINGS I’VE LOST’.
TLmag reached out to four gallerists whose galleries are participating in Brussels Gallery Weekend to share their thoughts on the Belgian contemporary art and design scene, their new exhibitions and curatorial processes. Nicole O’Rourke of Ballon Rouge Collective is the third gallerist to be featured in this repeating series.
TLmag: How would you describe the contemporaryBrussels(or Belgian) art and design scene, and what role do you think your gallery has within it?
Ballon Rouge Collective is a nomadic gallery with many cities that we consider “home.” Brussels has a particularly special place in the gallery because we opened a permanent location here primarily because we feel the city is really central and interesting to be based in. The goal of the space here in Brussels, Ballon Rouge Club, is to invite galleries from other cities to show here and in return for us to show in their space. As partly a gallery dedicated to exchanging and an invitation to foreign galleries, we hope locals in the scene will find this exciting and appealing. They will get to see shows they otherwise wouldn’t be able to see from emerging artists and international galleries right here in Brussels. Besides this, we will also continue to introduce our own artists to the city on occasion.
TLmag: What are the valuable/interesting aspects of taking part in art fairs and events such asBrusselsGallery Weekend?
For us, like most, it is about continuing to get seen and the ease of meeting local curators and collectors.
TLmag: The exhibition on view, OF ALL THE THINGS I’VE LOST, explores/elaborates on a central medium to your practice: ceramics. Could you tell us a bit more about the artists that you’re featuring in it and their works?
For this show, we invited Hannah Barry Gallery from London to take over the Club. Later this month, on September 25th we will open a show at her space in London with Merve Iseri, Jean Feline, and Lara Ogel. Here in Brussels, Hannah invited Paloma Proudfoot and Lindsey Mendick, together known as PROUDICK, to show all new collaborative and individual works. Paloma and Lindsey share a studio in London, are best friends, and also give ceramic lessons together. Besides this, the worlds that they create together are beautiful and sincere and funny and melancholy. In the case of this show, they’ve managed to make works about the humor and frustration of losing keys or getting a bad hair cut right alongside the more weighted loses and stresses of losing love and loved ones. It is a spectacular show, and we are really proud to have Hannah and PROUDICK in town for this show.
TLmag: Could you tell us a bit more about the curatorial process? How did this exhibition come about?
PROUDICK is a curatorial process all its own that forms from Paloma Proudfoot’s and Lindsey Mendick’s own relationship personally, as studio-mates, and professionally.
TLmag:What would you say is your goal with this exhibition, and (how does it link to other exhibitions and practices that your gallery has set up in the past?
This exhibition is the first of our Club’s invited international galleries. Next, opening at the end of October, we will invite Galerist from Istanbul who will show works by a new Brussels based painter Yesim Akdeniz. After that in January 2020, we will be both going to and inviting a gallery from Tibilisi, Georgia called Project ArtBeat who will be showing works byGvantsa Jishkariani; and then we will welcome Melange, a non-profit from Cologne, and so on! Besides this and our exchanges to those gallery’s cities, we will continue our Collective’s regularly scheduled programming. We have a show currently up in Istanbul with works by Carmen Argote, we will be showing her and Bruna Canepa at Artissima, and on March 2020 we will be showing Marie Jacotey in New York.
Cover image: Lindsey Mendick, It’s Only Hair, 2019, Synthetic hair, glazed ceramic, hairdresser’s chair, 98 x 57 x 48 cm.
All images courtesy of the artist and Hannah Barry Gallery, London. © Hannah Barry Gallery.