Wouters, Patty

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Patty Wouters is born in Wilrijk on January 6, 1957. She studied graphics at the Sint-Lucas Pavilion in Antwerp from 1976 to 1978 and at the Provincial Higher Institute for Art Education in Hasselt from 1978 to 1980. From 1980 to 1981, she studies Regentaat Plastische Opvoeding in Brussels. Meanwhile, Patty studied Ceramics and Modelling at various academies in Brasschaat, Hasselt and Merksem from 1976 to 1988. She also followed a number of specialised ceramics courses and internships at home and abroad, such as with Aksent, Sue Atkins in France and Bruce Denhert in the USA. In 1986, Patty Wouters founded Atelier Cirkel vzw, a socio-cultural association in Brasschaat, where various artistic activities are organised. Here she is the dynamic coordinator and teacher. From 1986 to 1989, she organised art courses for the Lodewijck de Raet Foundation. In 1989 and 1990, she took part in several Ceramics Fairs and in 1992 she assisted Suzy Atkins in France. Internationally, she even takes part in five workshops in Alden Biesen, Ywcat workshop 1995 in Japan, Jica workshop 1995 in Korea and in 1996 Patty is a guest teacher in Faënza in Italy. Patty Wouters has received several awards. In 1987, she is laureate of the Prize for Sculpture, organised by Lions Club Antwerp. At the International Ceramics Biennale in Andenne in 1994 and in 1996, Patty Wouters won the Public Prize. In 1996, she won a first prize at both the Mondial Tornianti in Faenza, Italy and the Ceramics Biennale at the Nekkerhal in Mechelen. In 1997 she won the Bancaixa-prize in Manises, Spain. In 2003 she received a Honorable mention at the 2nd World Ceramic Biennial in Icheon, South-Korea. In 2021 she got the first prize at the International festival of Contemporary Ceramics in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Patty Wouters' work consists of turnery and sculptures. Ornamental pots are usually executed in porcelain. Both the sculptures and the ornamental objects have a universal idea, a primal idea or primal form as a starting point. They are sober and contain a lot of symbolism. The viewer is free to seek these out or not, or may interpret them in their own creative way. Coincidence also plays a part in Patty's work, especially then through the decoration or firing technique - pitfire or Raku - where the play of fire and flames draws its own life story. Exhibitions, both individual and group, take place at home and abroad, and her creations find their way into many private collections in a variety of applications.
(Text: www.janfranssimonsvzw.be)

Images: Patty Wouters, portrait (source cirkel2.org); portrait (source received from the artist); two images from Patty in her studio (source received from the artist); ceramic circle "Vulnerable" (source AIC-IAC); large bowl (source AIC-IAC); ceramic installation with lighting (source HLN).

Work of the artist: 

At the beginning of her ceramic career, Patty Wouters explored different types of clay and firing  techniques. Ultimately she focused mainly on making thrown vessels in porcelain, finished with terra sigillata, fired in a saggar. Her vessels are metaphors for beings in search of identity and balance, in communication with their environment. Her work contains a rich symbolism.

More and more high-fired porcelain elements began to be part of her work. She explored the possibilities of paper porcelain and experimented with organic materials which she integrated into her work that took on more sculptural forms.
The vulnerability of people and nature is a recurring theme in her current work. Porcelain is the most obvious material for her: the material itself radiates fragility through its essential qualities of whiteness, thinness and translucence.

Patty Wouters was the founder of Atelier Cirkel, an artistic educational institute recognized by the Ministry of Culture. She organized 4 international ceramic biennales and curated several international travelling exhibitions. She was invited for residences, conferences, exhibitions and teaching in different countries around the world. 
She is a member of the IAC, the International Academy of Ceramists, UNESCO-affiliated.