KAREN VANMOL

ABOUT

Born in Leuven Belgium in 1983. She now lives and works in Antwerp. She grew up in Meldert-Hoegaarden, a small village with 300 residents at that time. Later her move to the closest city in Belgium provided her a major source of inspiration. Titles like Fading Landscape, Evolving Habitat or Cultivate reveal the longlasting influence of this  shift in her life. Starting with her Masterproject (graduated in 2010), she then worked Under Construction at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. 

NATURE VS CULTURE

Karen Vanmol’s work is characterized by geometrical shapes, generally in bright colors and mostly in wood. Her latest body of work (AKA#ISeeFaces) breaks with her former inspiration sources and is now following a path into the human psychology. The selection of materials and the improving work are central to her approach. The making process helps her to connect to the proprieties of the materials and guides the conceptual research itself. Another important aspect for the maker is the working by hand. By cutting, filing and sanding exclusively with hand tools, she learns from every piece, and the inspiration for the next one follows inevitably. Since 2012, Karen uses laminates, mostly recycled and/or vintage.

AKA#ISEEFACES

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon which makes us identify familiar things through random shapes. The human mind has the constant desire to name things and thus creates this illusion. Our brains are so eager to recognize patterns and correlations that they see them where there are none. Just like children who see a castle in the sky...But this phenomenon can also be the origin of  negative correlation and prejudices. Symmetry is an important aspect of that process. Our brain strives for perfection through symmetry but thisperfection soon becomes boring.
Asymmetry creates tension and makes an image interesting again. The title AKA #ISeeFaces refers to the many occurences of this phenomenon on social media.