ARTIST PROFILE:JAN VERMEIREN

Jan Vermeiren was born in Bornem, Belgium in 1949. Drawing has always been an important means of expression for him and he began formal art training while still at school.He then studied full time at the Academy St. Niklaas and the Academy of Mechelen, and then at the National Hoger Institute in Antwerp.

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“Vermeiren is an artist whose work bridges two rich and vastly different cultures. On the one hand there is his European heritage, on the other, the profound influence of Africa, which is now his home. This duality brings an exciting and unusual dimension to his work”.Printmaking was his speciality, when he moved to South Africa in 1976 that he became a painter.Jan’s primary influence has been the extensive range of colours.These African colours are very evident in his work – both in the early tones, and in the dark, atmospheric backgrounds, which appears in his more recent work”.

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Jan’s experience of Africa has been a great inspiration of finding his connection with the art of painting&of getting to the roots of his origins. His artwork is an expression not of outer reality, but of the subconscious, and it is this instinctive approach that gives his paintings their special dreamlike, spiritual quality.

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“His images reveal a series of archetypal symbols derived from various ancient cultures, reflecting his belief that it is these ‘primitive’ symbols that unite man across time and different civilisations. His aim is to bring the viewer into the spirit of Africa, to encourage a better understanding of the African identity”.

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