About Carla

Carla Torhoudt Carla Torhoudt (Februari 3rd 1969)

A piece of zinc from a skip or a bag from a coffee-roasting house, Carla's artwork contains materials you don't usually expect to see in a painting. It's typical of this self-willed lady from Antwerp who doesn't want to have any limits in her style. Therefore it's also impossible to just walk by Carla's work. The different layers on the canvas are intriguing. You look at it and discover surprising things.
Carla Torhoudt
Some articles:
               Tijdloos (2011)
               For Lovers (2010)
               Goed Gevoel (2009)
Everybody has an opinion about Carla's works. People's reactions can be very different, but the fact that her works leave no-one unaffected proves the enormous emotionalism that's behind it. Because of this passionate approach Carla has become very successful in a very short time. The exhibitions rapidly succeed one another, more and more people are buying her work. Carla turns out to be also very emotional in that respect. "I'm very proud when I see my work hanging in people's homes or offices. That it has a positive and emotional influence on those people's social world. In the end that is what I hope to achieve."
Carla gets her inspiration from her frequent travels. It all started when she was still very young. Till the age of 6 she lived with her parents in Burundi. The African landscape, the sun, the colours, the freedom, her love for animals. Unconsciously these impressions permeate in her work. Carla has travelled across the globe. From the ice fields in Alaska to the nature reserves in Kenya. Her curiosity for foreign cultures and her unprejudiced impressions play a role in the way in which she uses colours, compositions and materials in her paintings.
Carla doesn't have any reservations about the materials she is using. Acrylic and enamel paint are still quite prevalent, but she also uses spray cans with car paint or paint to treat radiators with. Apart from paint Carla uses all kinds of materials that make her work more powerful.
At jumble sales she goes looking for old publications. She uses texts, photographs or drawings that intrigue her in her paintings. Often Carla goes even a bit further. "I put on an old pair of jeans and climb into skips with building materials of a construction company. Between all the junk I discover worn and discarded pieces of lead and zinc. Their shape and character fascinate me and get my imagination going. I take them with me and try to find out how these materials will react, how I can work them."
Recently she saw a potato bag at the Pakistani green grocer's around the corner of she lives. It appealed to her, the material but also the exotic superscriptions. She collects bags from a coffee-roasting house, while she's studying them and cutting them open her imagination gets the better of her. What a life that material has had from the coffee plantation in Guatemala to the roasting house in Belgium.
Layered composition
Carla's perseverance is reflected in her paintings. They literally consist of different layers. "I start working on something and never know where it will end. Often I discover a new approach while painting and I continue in a different way than I originally thought of." This layered approach also holds a lot of symbolism. "Reality isn't always what you think it is at first glance. In order to come to the essence you often have to peel away different layers, look through a number of things, discover things by looking at them from a different perspective. At the same time these layers offer some protection. The sensitive core is embedded between and under the other layers." This also means that people often give a different interpretation to the same work or see different things in it. That is also the reason why people's reactions often are so different. "My work allows for a lot of imagination. You are free to fill it in yourself, to have an opinion about it. It provokes discussion, apparently you can't just walk by it. It creates a stir".
"I have now found happiness, freedom, peace and quiet. I'm very sociable, but still I feel the need to be alone. It's a great feeling to be able to create something, to add your own touch to it, to bring something to life."

Carla Torhoudt - Abstract art - Open workshop - Permanent expostion - Visit by appointment