As a maker of fragile textile creations, Celina Vleugels works on the boundaries between visual and applied art. She strikes a sensitive chord with her poetic, melancholic work.

With 20 to watch, Flanders DC presents twenty emerging talents, who recently took their first steps in the worlds of design or fashion. We believe they will have great success in the future.

Celina Vleugels © Alexander Popelier

Celina Vleugels © Alexander Popelier

Who is Celina Vleugels?

  • obtained a Master’s degree in painting and then textiles from LUCA School of Arts Ghent
  • creates works in textiles as well as drawings and Riso prints
  • will exhibit at Shoobil Gallery in Antwerp in 2024

I used to work purely as a free artist, but my practice is currently shifting towards the boundary with the applied arts. When I designed a room divider for A Domestic Art Fair in Brussels last year, I pushed my boundaries. Since then,I like to explore the thin line between art and design. The interaction between the two domains strengthens my work. Although I feel that the visual arts often still look down on the applied arts somewhat, while the functional aspect actually requires precisely those extra points of attention.

Celina Vleugels intimate distance

Intimate distance

Even though I first studied painting, I could not fully express myself in it. The square canvas and paint felt very distant. Textiles allow me to work much more organically and, as a tactile material, offer much more warmth and comfort. It also reminds me of my mother, who worked for Dries Van Noten, and whose fabric collection I regularly draw from for my creations. Thanks to those materials, and also because of the memories of my childhood that I evoke in my work, she feels very close.

Celina Vleugels Rice Paper Lamps Gaest Design © Rik Huybrechts

Rice Paper Lamps for Gaest Design © Rik Huybrechts

I mainly use felting as a basic technique. I like the slow, repetitive process. An image emerges in close dialogue with the material. I find it fascinating that the material has a life of its own, and so cannot be fully controlled. The biggest challenge is to translate the feeling or image in my head into an emotionally charged work. The residual materials I use are not only durable, but also have a layered nature due to their previous life. As a medium, textiles have strong connecting qualities.

Celina Vleugels Holding while letting go

Holding while letting go

Celina Vleugels And I know we will see each other again

And I know we will see each other again