Inside the Studio

Barbara Houwers

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
In my sculptures and paintings, the human being is the “Leitmotiv.” In almost every work of art, I almost intuitively sketch a human figure as a basis that I then position in relationship with the environment. In my latest series of work, I want to design the human being in relationship with nature and environment. Nature is vital for us humans. We experience the world around us through our senses and we are virtually air and water. I find this fascinating: it makes the human vulnerable. Actually vulnerability is also an important theme to me.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
During a period where I did not have time for my artistic skills, due to my career as a teacher in addition to a busy family life, the best advice was from a colleague: “Just move on.” Now that I can dedicate myself full-time to the creation process, I am still very happy every day that I followed this advice.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
In my studio, music – just like a good cup of coffee – is the starter of my working day. But then I often forget everything around me, and I realize that I worked in silence for hours. Anyway: peace, time and not being disturbed are the most important features. 

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
A Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

Who are your favorite writers?
Khaled Hosseini, Geert Mak, Stephen Covey, and recently Sarah McCoy