Muller Van Severen
- Caroline Kurze
The Belgian sky is a solid grey, and cows graze in mist-shrouded pastures between groves of forested green. In the small town of Evergem outside Ghent, the design studio and residence of visual artists and furniture designers Muller Van Severen is situated. The neighbouring barn hosts the design studio of the couple. Together with his life and creative partner, photographer Fien Muller, Hannes Van Severen has piqued international interest with his furniture designs. A look into their studio space reveals a collection of various pieces and works in progress, each of them constructed out of thin wire frames in gestures that suggest a spark of creative humour, ‘a quest for intersections,’ as they explain.
The two met over their shared passion for sculpture. Hannes tells: ‘Fien studied photography for four years at the Academy of Ghent. I started sculpture at Sint-Lucas in Ghent. After her studies in photography, Fien also started sculpture and there we met.’ Thoush it took them quite a few years to work together as a couple, Fien states that ‘there was an ambition to work together, we just never found a medium.’ Hannes adds: ‘Three years ago, a design and art gallery in Antwerp asked Fien to do an exhibition, together with an invited artist and Fien asked me!’ At the same time, they were renovating what was to become the home that they now live in with their two daughters. Of course Murphy’s Law interjected and refused allowance of electricity above the dining area. ‘So we thought of a table with a lamp. That was the first thing we made, and immediately we felt it was something right. The other furniture pieces came spontaneously, and we decided to have the exhibition with furniture only. Muller Van Severen was born.’