Viona ielegems - Visual Artist
Rider of Nightmares, Collector of Daydreams
Viona ielegems is a Belgian visual artist.
She was born in 1982 in Antwerp.
Her early photographic work is a dark, elegant and melancholic reaction to the fast and commercially driven society of the 21 century where she didn't feel she belonged. Her work is inspired by the gothic novels, poems and painters of the 19th century romantic movement.
Ielegems work has a classic aesthetic and features her muses in otherworldly, historically or ethnic-inspired gowns and headdresses.
Sometimes set in a minimalistic misty studio, sometimes set in nature or a historic building, she turns her female models into mysterious characters from a forgotten legend or an old storybook and lets them beckon the viewer to escape with them into another realm.
She extended this realm to carefully created, conceptual events, where her guests joined her to escape the world as we know it for just one night.
In 2015 she went through a phase of redemption and had to rediscover her artistic identity. She created a series of minimalistic, monochrome full body self-portraits that resulted in the solo show “Kult!” Only wearing a ritual mask or headdress, this series of artwork emanates both her powerful and fragile side.
In 2019 she came out with the solo show “Wunderkammer”, a series of over 50 still life photographic artworks featuring common and exotic species of taxidermy objects hidden in the vast archives of a German natural history museum. She set up her studio and worked for 2 years in the solitude of those archives to create the series.
Ielegems is a true believer in the sacred, creative power of women. She does not aim to communicate social or political criticism through her artworks. She believes in the healing and enchanting power of beauty. Even when obscure, a bit morbid and melancholic, above all, her work is always feminine, elegant and refined.
She currently works on a series of paintings with dark ethnic and ritualistic influences. She uses techniques of intuitive creation to realise her paintings.
2000 - 2003
Audiovisual arts and photography-Karel de Grote Hogeschool, Antwerp, Belgium)
2003 - 2005
Graduate in pedagogy - SCVO Pestalozzi, Antwerp, Belgium
Finalist, SeeMe art competition, Affordable Art Fair NYC, USA.
See.Me Exposure Awards: The photography presented within this collection was honoured at a private reception at the Louvre Museum, Paris
Young talent award, Kunstprijs Lint, OC De Witte Merel, Belgium
“FAIRYTALES”, Médiathèque de Sélestat, Sélestat, France.
“WUNDERKAMMER” Fotografische Impressionen aus der Zoologischen Sammlung- Sonderausstellung mit Fotografien von Viona Ielegems, Museum für Naturkunde, Magdeburg, Germany.
“KULT! Götterwelt / Menschenwelt”, Museum Römerhalle, Bad Kreuznach, Germany:
Solo booth at BLOOOM the creative industry art show, Cologne, Germany (curated by Yasha Young from Strychnin Gallery Berlin/NY).
“SARABANDE”, Kasteel van Poeke, Aalter, Belgium.
“Wu Ye Sheng Ge”, Club Inner Affair, Beijing, China.
“SILVANELLE”, Galerie Lucien Schweitzer, Luxemburg.
"GALA NOCTURNA", Kapel Cultuurpunt Altena, Kontich, Belgium
"VIONA IELEGEMS", Nieuwe Galerij Pius X, Antwerp, Belgium (curated by Natus Verbaenen).
Finalist of the SeeMe art competition, Affordable Art Fair NYC, USA.
“THE NIGHT”Exposition at the Museum for Communication Berlin, Germany.
“THE NIGHT”Exposition at the Museum for Communication Frankfurt, Germany.
“THE NIGHT”Exposition at the Museum for Communication Nürnberg, Germany.
Leipzig in Schwarz, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, Germany.
Sweet 18 – contemporary art/fashion/design inspired by the 18th. century”, Kasteel d’Ursel, Hingene, Belgium.
See.Me Exposure Awards 2015: The photography presented within this collection was honoured at a private reception at the Louvre Museum, Paris.
WAK, Villa Snoeck, Aalter, Belgium.
Duo show with Danielle Goffa “ Expo Boudoir”, Galerie Hangar 311, Mechelen, Belgium.
“Dark skies over Sint Andries”, coStA, Antwerp, Belgium.
“LOCO 03”, Antwerp, Belgium.
International Witchfest Europe, Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen, Belgium.
Kunstprijs Lint 2003, winner young talent, OC De Witte Merel, Belgium.
Duo show with Paul ielegems, “Ontmaskerd”, CC Kontich, Belgium
Art Direction & Event Managment
Gala Nocturna: 10 editions (2006 – 2016)The world’s most famous dark historic masked costume ball, with visitors from all over Europe. (Amuz Augustinus Kerk, Antwerpen, Marmeren Zaal, Verlat Zaal en Wintertuin Zoo Antwerpen, Concert Noble, Brussels and Thagaste Augustijnenklooster, Ghent, Belgium)
Danse Macabre: 6 editions (2010 – 2019)
The most exclusive Noble Blood vampire ball in the world. (Monasterium, Ghent, Belgium and Schloss Heinrichshorst, Rogätz, Germany)
Black Oktoberfest (2015)
Schloss Heinrichshorst, Rogätz, Germany).
Viona’s Victorian Village (2015)
(Panometer, Leipzig, Germany)
Viona’s Victorian Picnic: 7 editions (2008 – 2014)
Attracting over 2.000 costumed guests (Leipzig, Germany)
Belle Epoque picknick ZOO Antwerpen: 3 editions (2013 – 2015)
In collaboration with ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium (8.000 visitors)
Victorian Fright Night, Grimm Halloween and Victorian Freak Circus (2009 – 2011)
Fabulous historically inspired Halloween events in collaboration with Kasteel van Gaasbeek, Belgium (5.000 visitors).
Sarabande: 2 editions (2009 – 2010)
Baroque masked balls. (Kasteel van Poeke, Belgium)
Zirkus Ravenstein (2008)
Exotic dance and music circus, during Gentse Feesten (Ghent, Belgium)
Adobe User Group (Belgium) – Anne Zellien (Belgium) – Baba Studio (Czech Republic) – Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop (UK) – BLOOOM at Art Fair Cologne (Germany) – Brigitte Minne (Belgium) – Concept S (Belgium) – Corset Story (UK) – Create Agency (NL) – Daan De Decker (Belgium) – Dr. van der Hoog (Netherlands) – Finale (Belgium) – Flame Tree Publishing (UK) – Galerie Lucien Schweitzer (Luxemburg) – Gemeinde Rogätz (Germany) – Gleijm & van der Waart (Netherlands) – Hangar 311 (Belgium) – Infantium Victoria (Germany) – Janez Detd (Belgium) – JPC Collection (Belgium) – Kasteel d’Ursel (Belgium) – Kasteel Van Gaasbeek (Belgium) – Little Miss Robot (Belgium) – Maze Films (USA) – Museum M (Belgium) – Qntal (Germany) – The Cast (Belgium) – Trevillion Images (UK) – Uitgeverij Schors (Netherlands) – WGT (Germany) – Who Killed Joe (Belgium) – ZOO Antwerpen (Belgium) - ….
Interviews | Articles
Algemeen Dagblad (Netherlands) – Automax Magazine (Belgium) – Astan Magazin (Germany) – BILD (Germany) – BG Magazine (Ecuador) – Bliss Magazine (Belgium) – Bruid & Bruidegom (Belgium) – Cobra TV (Belgium) – Een (Belgie) – DANS Magazine (Netherlands) – Dark Spy Magazine (Germany) – De Standaard (Belgium) – Digital Photo (Germany) – Elf Fantasy Guide (Netherlands) – Faerie Magazine (USA) – Fay Magazine (UK) - Fiend (Australia) – Galo Magazine (USA) – Gazet van Antwerpen (Belgium) – Glam Couture Magazine (USA) – Gothic Beauty Magazine (UK) – Gothic Lifestyle Magazine (Germany) – Gothic Magazine (Germany) – Gothic Lolita Bible (Japan) – Het Laatste Nieuws (Belgium) – Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium) – Kera Magazine (Japan) – Karaat Magazine (Belgium) – Karfunkel (Germany) – Knack Weekend (Belgium) – Le Quotidien (Luxemburg) – Libelle (Belgium) – Loving You (Belgium) – MDR (Germany) – Kasteel van Gaasbeek (Belgium) – PAF Magazine (Denmark) – Photo Vogue (Italy) – Renaissance Magazine (USA) – Spectrum Fantastic Art (USA) – UIT magazine (Belgium) – Uitgeverij Schors (Netherlands) – Unscene Magazine (UK) – Touring Magazine (Belgium) – Volksstimme (Germany) – Zoom Magazine (Belgium) - ...