Lieven Debrabandere was born at Vichte on February 18, 1945.

He is, also determined by his descent and studies, the type of toiles like other well-known South-West-Flemings as André Demedts and Jozef Deleu. A burst of melancholy and a spark of down colours their philosophy of life. Debrabandere’s sculpting art can in no way be disconnected from the self-reflection, the religious-historical background, and the matrix of art philosophy in general.

In Debrabandere’s work all this finally results in a big dose of earnestness and in a philosophical stand forwards his art. His later professional activities as social worker and family therapist confirm this. It’s his earnestness that he invests with full energy in the taille directe and the precise finishing touch to his statues.

In his classical humanities he gets to know Europe’s cultural patrimony. During his military service he goes to the sculpture class of the Aalst academy.

After the first year at the academy, he left the magic-religious circle in which he had been enclosed since his puberty. He wanted to become an artist or in the wake of his schooling to start social studies. He would do both.

He is 24 and a spiritual nomad when he starts at the IPSOC studies to become social worker  Again, he contacts Willem Vermandere, he attends the academy of Dendermonde, Kortrijk, where he passed his probation and Roeselare at last where his freedom got sufficient opportunities to find his favourite material: the stone. The academy doesn’t kill the artist; for Debrabandere it meant enhancing his creative capacities.

At the age of 27 he married and bought a former bakery along a narrow canal on the countryside where noise and dust are still allowed

For twenty years he has been elaborating his sculptural work, looking for his own voice in working in the diversity of stone sorts.

Above all, it’s in marble that he can purely and clearly realise his projects. The form of the stone will also play a dominant role. The difference between the geometrical cube or the beamlike rough block and the organic cobble as the starting point is very decisive for the result.

But whatever working method Debrabandere prefers, he clearly strives for a sculpting art of the transcendency. A kind of metaphysical sculpturality influenced by his religiousness from his past.

The beauty he stives for by the extreme processing of the material prolongs to some degree his former longing for a more beautiful world. The melting of the organic with the geometric abstract becomes the ultimate aim. He will stive for a synthesis between heaven and earth, body and soul, material, and mind.


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