And with this blog entry the purple planet circle is officially round by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Heading for the purple planet. All the doubts towards the exhibition put aside, I could not have had a better moment and/or location for the kick off of this installation. It is hard to capture in pictures, therefore I had a little  film made to give an impression of the atmosphere that transformed the chapel for two weeks. The soundscape was also part of the installation.

The film speaks for itself, but I want to spend a few extra words on the light (editing choices we had to make, made it impossible to reproduce the same effect as the reality) The light that shone through the windows was an unrehearsed, unforeseen and unable to reproduce element in the installation.The stained glass chapel windows` colours took me completely by surprise as they appeared to be green, yellow and purple which are exactly the colours of my work.... crazy, just crazy (also that I had not seen that before, but maybe if I had, then it would not have worked that not how magic works..?)   Just like the sea helped me to make a new work in paradise of surrender, so the purple planet was transformed by the light. And in this way it became, just like paradise of surrender, a sort of ritual wherein everything works together to transcend/celebrate/honour ..


video to give an impression about the exhibition `heading for the purple planet` in Sint-Amanduskapel. June 2017. Camera and video by Mathieu Rynwalt.

die a thousand deaths by annabelle schatteman sculptor

6th of April was the date of my last blog. In this short time span between then and now I died several deaths. Every time I make an exhibition I think `why do I do this to myself?`. I do not consider myself a masochist but, honestly, this comes very close. When making the work and being completely into it, I am full of confidence and I know that this is what I want to say. But then comes all the organising, the inviting people and the publicly announcing of what I thought so confidently about and I shrink and have lots of imaginary conversations with myself that undoubtedly and mercilessly result in hara-kiri. To die an honourable self inflicted death before anyone else kills me is more appealing than being slaughtered by critique.  

Enfin, In two weeks I will be there and stand there and smile there and be confident there. It is after all about courage and stamina and vulnerability, this `heading for the purple planet`. About Striding forward with all your means and imperfections to go to this world where you believe in. Yesterday I thought `what I can offer the viewer is nothing more or less than this small perforation hole in the reality that we commonly accept as a given`. This image that is what I hold onto now...nothing but a small perforation in reality..... It calms me and puts things in perspective.

For the next two weeks I will try to walk the zen path to the chapel. And quite a path is is.




heading for the purple planet by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Working on the exhibition in the Chapel of Campo Santo in Gent (Sint-Amandsberg).

Campo Santo is an exhibition Chapel that is situated on a burial site just outside the centre of Ghent in Sint Amandsberg. `` heading for the purple planet`` is the title of the exhibition and it is about the female as a symbol of protection and continuation of life. It should become a group of womenlike figures who are on their way to another place where the continuation of life can be assured. The figures are built up out of building material, porcelain and ready made objects. 

The work is raw, fragile and 1000 other doubts. It started off as only sketches and that is what it stayed, sketches. Exhibiting sketches and be serious about them feels like going to a battlefield unarmed. But somehow this is how it should be. And after all life is nothing but a sketch, you only get to do it once and everything for the first time. This is what I tell myself and what I have to believe now....

For a Long time I had an instinctive allergy against exhibiting on this spot and up till now I sometimes think I will cancel last minute, but also I have this need fuelled by anger to fill the chapel with female energy against all this patriarchal stupidity that has caused so much destruction and pain in the name of ideologies. Also, the graveyard that the chapel is built on is a sort of `Père Lachaise of Ghent` where the `meritorious` Gentians are buried, most of them men of course. The exhibition will be dedicated to my grandmother who died in childbirth after giving birth to her first child, my father. She died because the church, in case of doubt to save the mother or the child, strongly advised the father to sacrifice the mother. She died for the continuation of life...she was buried on a graveyard close to Campo Santo, she did not belong to the meritocracy, she was just another woman who died in childbirth. There are no statues for all the women who died in childbirth but there is, in almost every city, a statue for the anonymous soldier who died in a war. what kind of world did we make??? It is time to head for that purple planet and start all over again. 


motherdaughter/daughtermother by annabelle schatteman sculptor

some things are bound to happen because it is the law of nature

children leave parents 

daughters leave mothers

it can be painful

you spend hours raising them to be independent when they are older

and then comes the moment they are

you spend hours making a portrait as you like it

and then comes the moment it is

and it explodes

air or plaster pieces

I accuse plaster

I accuse myself

too much tolerance for plaster in my clay environment

I can live with the plater diagnosis

I think of the motherartist/artistmother piece

It all makes sense

this law of nature





portrait making process by annabelle schatteman sculptor

This summer I started a portrait of my daughter who is leaving to house to study abroad.There was not much time left when I decided to recreate her (;-), so what started off as normal posing sessions, we had to finish via FaceTime. making a portrait of her was a good step in the process of letting go. I had to look very closely, absorbing all her her features like my eyes were glued onto her. It made her very uncomfortable at times. I told her ``you owe me that, I am your mother :-), this always works``. Here you can see a little overview of the ups and downs of the creation. The excavation of the portrait did not go as planned and the whole buste collapsed. Luckily I was able to save her face (in the literal sense). Now wait till it is dry and then glaze her in a soft white...looking forward to add some frosting to the cake! Life gets sweeter that way.

`She who is always there` or `zij die er altijd is` by annabelle schatteman sculptor

It`s been a while since my last words on this blog. The times did not invite me to write. More so to experience. But now these times are over and it is time to `do`. It is scary,  like the blank canvas syndrome. The empty space syndrome... `empty` is quite the word these days. Empty space,.empty nest. The second bird in my nest has flown out, only one left in there. This is quite something. I don`t know what to make of it yet beyond emptiness. 

Looking back at my work from the previous year, I can only say that I must have been preparing myself for this. Sculptures with some sort of woman carrying some sort of child with some sort of shield to protect, kept coming back. Most of them I threw out or dismantled. I consider them sketches. Some of them I consider `a piece`. 

Zij die er altijd is (she who is always there) is a piece. Let me give you a little bit of context. As a young girl I was (still am) an admirer of the Belgian sculptor/painter Rik Wouters. The delicate power of this sculptures. How he portrayed his wife over and over. The intimacy he creates in his work. How I wanted to be in his work....especially in his `zotte geweld`, the lifting herself in one movement almost entirely off the ground, Isadora Duncan.

The work `zij die er altijd is` is inspired on one of Wouter`s sculptures called `huiselijke zorgen`, a piece that I rediscovered here in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, unfortunately sadly tucked away in a staircase hall ;-(. The work came to life at the beginning of this year, in the midst of the terrorism turmoil in Europe and is an expression of the need to protect the ones I love against the craziness of the world. `. An ode to the silent homemaker,she who is there when you are not , waiting for you to come home, hoping you wil be safe at all times. .


she who is always there




YEs! by annabelle schatteman sculptor

My stuff is in See Lab. One month it took me to sort, make and move. Now that it is moved I will clearly need to sort and throw out once more. I want to start with a clean slate to make new work without too much visual ballast from previous work. I am very happy with the beautiful light and wind that come straight from oversea and bring new vibes and inspiration!  

Thanks to my carpenter husband I have a beautiful mezzanine to store my stuff and look at my work with a bird`s eye view. Time to fly now.


The perfect light for dreaming.

The perfect light for dreaming.

The mezzanine in spe.

The mezzanine in spe.

bye bye procession in Noordwal

bye bye procession in Noordwal

The young ones from See Lab helping the old ones move. 

The young ones from See Lab helping the old ones move. 

Time to sort and throw out

Time to sort and throw out

as close as I can get by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Below you find some pictures of the exhibited work and the vernissage.


Let me take you by the hand and give you a little guide text:

This series originated from a need for strong imagery, powerful representations of the female. The sculptures form a clan connected by patterns. The patters serve both as protection as well as a reminder of the questions: what is our blueprint, what is ours and what has been imposed on us? Can we change the patterns or did they become so much a part of ourselves that we can not do without them? If we manage to shake them off or deny them, what is left, if anything, of ourselves?

fotos by Mathieu Rynwalt and Hugo Azcuy Castillo

Mount Rushmore by annabelle schatteman sculptor

The world needs beautiful stories, and therefore I give you one today.

A couple of days ago, my brother  completely random, bumped into this picture on the internet.

It is my father`s name. Looking for the source of this picture, he found this

He sent it to me: look what I found. I suggested we set it right and tell them that we know the maker of the rock sculpture. He did not find that necessary. I did.  I want to find out, I want to honour, I want to communicate, I want to make stories.

I wrote the people of the site the following message:



Hier, mon frère, tout par hasard, a découvert votre website et aussi les
photos de la tête sculptée, fait par mon père Frans Schatteman, Belge
;-), fait, tout en efait, par amour pour les rochers et pour ma mère. Je
me souviens encore des vacances féeriques dans les rochers, inspirant
liberté et un esprit un peu bohémien. Merci de nous avoir transporté
vers un été fabuleux, par les photos. cordialement Annabelle Schatteman

they replied:


merci infiniment d'avoir écrit !!

Avant d'intégrer au mur cette sculpture, qui était posée un peu en retrait dans un coin de terrasse, je me suis renseigné auprès de la famille Richard. Nous leur avons acheté les grottes il y a 8 ans, et nous continuons à les voir très souvent.

Malgré la photo en lumière rasante j'avais du mal à déchiffrer la signature, mais de toute évidence, maintenant que vous me dites son nom, il s'agit bien de votre père. Je vais corriger le texte, et m'autorisez-vous à indiquer son nom, ou au moins son prénom ? Et cette tête est un portrait de votre mère ? C'est une information très émouvante.

J'espère que le nouveau logis de cette sculpture, en pleine vue, protégeant la pièce de Saint-Marc, surveillant le Loir et les champs au loin, lui est plus agréable que l'était le feuillage de la terrasse.

Si vous souhaitez partager ces souvenirs sur le site, à travers un commentaire ou un paragraphe que l'on pourrait y ajouter, ce serait merveilleux.

Bien entendu j'espère aussi que, si vous avez l'occasion de revenir visiter les lieux, vous n'hésiterez pas ; vous et votre famille êtes en tout cas très bienvenus !

merci encore pour votre message qui me remplit de joie ce matin


It made me equally happy! How beautiful this is... 30 years patiently waiting in the protective shadow of the trees to be rediscovered and put in the light by sculpture/rock/mystery loving people. 

Here is a screen shot of the ` petit mount Rushmore`:

 My father was an arts teacher and was too humbled by all the great art in the world to consider himself an artist, but he is , in heart and soul. It is so good to see that a sculpture is still valued and put in a beautify place, overlooking the valley. It makes me happy and proud and I continue my own path, be it less humbled and intimidated by great art than he is. I hope that is also ok. Anyways, it is what it is. I was only 13 when he made this and too busy with my own adventures to notice him making this. Still,  this is what I always do on holidays, I bring my hammer and chisel and I sculpt stones, I can not retain myself to do this, it is an urge. I now know where it comes from ;-). The nature/nurture question had me once again in its grip for the rest of the day, though.. 

Merci, gens du petit Mount Rushmore, pour cette belle histoire!

loveisfocus/focusislove by annabelle schatteman sculptor

In the last months I have been experimenting with porcelain, porcelain shields, porcelain protection. Porcelain is quite something: it is stubborn, it remembers, it is fragile, it is strong, it is always a surprise. I like that. It has personality.

Here are some photo`s of the experiments

James, how the hell are we going to get the porcelain out again.

James, how the hell are we going to get the porcelain out again.

caution,focus and balls darling. (Fired porcelain)

caution,focus and balls darling. (Fired porcelain)




leftoverlove/loveleftover by annabelle schatteman sculptor

My life will never be the same again, I have a puppy. This was maybe a stupid, sentimental decision, but nonetheless it was a decision and the result is that I am in love now. It was at first sight. This always means trouble. The trouble is that I worry (too late) never to be free again (but is this also not the wonderful torment of love). This little monster occupies a part of my heart in the same way as it occupies a part of my atelier, as it destroys the carefully, in my own way put together, order in both. It turns my world upside down and reveals so openly the structure I gave it. I look at the revealed structure and feel very unsecure: am I doing the right thing, have I done the right thing? Like a fresh mother, a fresh lover, a fresh artist, I wobble along with my little puppy. I rediscover the world I made for myself and try to make sense of it. I try to let go of my obsession to continue working on my new series and focus on the most urgent things. One of them being the exhibition at the end of the month. What will I show, what will i not show. what do I write about what I show, what do I not write about what I show. By now, I almost know what I will show.

I also know what I will not show. I had, however, fun playing with the idea of showing, but decided it is not yet good enough for the exhibition. No matter how `ungood` it is for the exhibition, the process might be interesting, though. It goes as follows:  I made 300 unfired masks for the performance (masked) last year, the dancer crushed about 100 smh of them, after the performance I collected the broken pieces, in the following weeks I gradually fired all the pieces, I kept the pieces, I kept the pieces, i kept the pieces forever, I think i cherish the pieces, I put them on the ground, I `broomed` a heart out of the pieces, I caressed the pieces, the afternoon light shone on the heart, my hand formed a shadow on the heart, I felt a fire growing, I decided to make a little movie out of the shadow and heart, I think it is not yet where it needs to be, but almost. Some things take a long time  before before they find their destination, before you can let go. Playing helps.



As close as I can get by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Working on an exhibition in Latem (Belgium) in a new gallery` Lanneau art gallery`. Latem is my hometown. It`s an ambiguous feeling to exhibit there, it makes me fragile and strong, open and closed . It`s where you come from, it had a hand in forming who you are, like it or not; always there as a mirror for your current self, a mnemonic for your erased stories. No matter how hard one tries to deroot,( deroute, reroute), there is always leftover seeds that shoot root at moments least expected. There is always leftover love to feed the leftover seeds hidden deep inside the earth. 

Leftover love for an old story that I want to include in the exhibition, made me rethink the presentation of the story: from text to voice.

written by me, read by Manon Falces, for you.

still life in still live by annabelle schatteman sculptor

She comes home after a day of working,slightly irritated. Now her second life begins, the housework, the children. They have been home all day, the kitchen is a mess. It looks like a carnage. She sits down at the table, overlooks the scene, when suddenly there is an unexpected ancient feeling of beauty that catches her eye; on the counter there is an accidental heap of towels that looks like a flemish still life. She captures the moment and feels happy that there is hope in the heap. She holds onto the beauty of the still life for another 10 seconds, closes her eyes, takes a deep breath and screams: ``Can someone please clean up this mess or I do not even bother beginning to make dinner``.

Paris je t`aime by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Just back from Paris where I got the good news that my work will be exhibited in the gallery `Mark Hachem` on  28 Place des Vosges as from December 2015. I am very happy and exited. The place is beautiful and the contact with the gallery is warm and welcoming. It is a trial period to see what my work will do in the city of Rodin and all the other artists that I so love. I have faith and hope for the best!


pyjama dreams and more by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Art fair quickly one moves on to the next chapter. Too quickly maybe. Of course nothing goes ever unreflected, so if I look back I can say that it was overall a very good time and good opportunity to expand ones horizon. `

`The art is not present` in neon and a poetic video that showed a hint of our working process, was all there was present. Not present was our art. Strange feeling for people who mainly work with tangible matter. In the begining standing there in that stand, I felt like in that old recurrent dream that I was on the bus to school and suddenly realised that I was still wearing my pyjama. I was in the wrong spot with the wrong clothes on, I was in an art fair without my art, naked. What is there to show? What is there to say? Help! Seek shelter, hide!

Enfin, in the end, it was not all that scary . I quickly adapted there in my pyjama ;-) and people were easily attracted to the concept of  the art that was not present, a moment of rest for the oversaturated eyes and mind.

But....what is the use of making art if `the art is not present` has been so well received?  What is the use of exhibiting anyways, If people have the impression to know your art through all pictures that are posted of it. But if you don`t post, If you are not virtually existent, one risks of missing every boat. It is a fine line. I don`t like fine lines. 

Yesterday I called a friend of mine that I did not hear for a long time. I told her `hey, have not seen you in a long time`. She said `funny that you think that way, I have the impression that I have seen you a lot, that I was with you` I know what you have been doing, how Finland was, etc.... Shit, we thought, funny how our brain plays these games with us. It makes us think that we actually experienced something, when we did not. I guess it is the same with art on the internet. We think we have seen it, that we know it, some might even think they own it. Maybe I should stop it....but risks invisibility, oblivion. And is that not just one of our (my) biggest fears? But then again (and I now get the feeling my theory is going in circles) what is the real value of memories/objects/events if they were not real???

Here I stop....and go clean my studio.


art fair Suomi 2015 by annabelle schatteman sculptor

Finish holiday, finish dolce far niente, finish dreaming........welcome Finish dream ! Because we (me and 3 of my NW117 colleagues) are going to Finland, Helsinki! And looking forward to that.It is quite cool that NW117 gallery has been selected for the fair. A few months ago we applied with the concept `the art is not present` and we got selected.  But first...hard work to prepare our expo there. And we leave the 15th, so better start preparing full speed. The title of our expo is `the art is not present`. It will be performance style expo. So no work will be visible, but we will give the audience a unique look into our process. So focus on proces and not on end product. Because process and all its ups and downs, ins and outs, is what binds us. We are now working on how to find our way of giving the audience the essence of that. Focus is on experience, going out of your comfort zone and finding essence. 

ART FAIR SUOMI ’15 is an international art fair that will take place from 18 to 20 September at the Cable Factory in Helsinki. It is co-organised by Artists’ Association MUU and the Photographic Artists’ Association.   -

See more at:


Chris and Lili trying to get our neon art working 

Chris and Lili trying to get our neon art working works ( in Helsinki it will be straighter ;-) fotos by Anke van den Berg works ( in Helsinki it will be straighter ;-)

fotos by Anke van den Berg

Double Faced by annabelle schatteman sculptor

foto`s  Anke van den Berg

Saturday was the opening of the expo Double Faced in Roermond.  Double Faced is an expo initiated by Justine Le Clerq that shows a cooperation between visual artists and writers. 
sculptor Annabelle Schatteman,
writer Renate Dorrenstein,
writer Karin Giphart,
installation artist Efrat Zehavi, 
photographer Pepeyn Langedijk, 
painter Tamar Muller,
painter Suzan van Soest,
visual artist Aat Verhoog.

I am very happy to see how well the sculptures work with the space.