The Leuven Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

We’ve joined forces with Leuven to highlight 100 local people, places and projects that contribute towards making the city what it is today. From artists and architects to producers and professors, these are the driving forces powering Leuven forward one ingenious initiative at a time.

Ief Spincemaille

Ief Spincemaille

Visual artist and set designer, WERKTANK (1976)

Can you describe what you do?

I’m a visual artist based in Batiment A; and co-partner at WERKTANK, a factory for both old and new media. My artistic journey crosses over into the visual arts, design, performance and a diverse range of working contexts. I live in Mollendaal, a small village in the countryside five miles away from Leuven.

How do you perceive Leuven?

Leuven is a medium-sized city, although it has been growing rapidly these previous years. A lot of buildings, squares and organisations have been created top-down by the city during the last eight years. At the same time, from my point of view, an immense amount of bottom-up initiatives is rising up, too. Leuven is transforming and growing rapidly.

What would you say is Leuven’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

Its small scale and strong local character, in combination with its international institutions and companies.

Between 2011 and 2013, I was cultural ambassador for the City of Leuven. This gave me the opportunity to learn and experiment with what it actually means to create in and within a public space.

How has Leuven contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?

Between 2011 and 2013, I was cultural ambassador for the City of Leuven. This gave me the opportunity to learn and experiment with what it actually means to create in and within a public space. It was a difficult and challenging journey, but it also allowed me to obtain an art practice which now responds to my imagination better.

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city? What could it do better?

Although its cultural scene is growing rapidly, Leuven still lacks a broad and living art scene, like art galleries.

If you had to take out-of-towners to one place that truly symbolises the city, what would it be?

Of course, a visit to the city centre with its incredible Town Hall is a must-see, alongside the Oude and Grote Markt squares. Besides this, some of my favourite highlights are the M-Museum, climbing up the tower of the University Library and taking a break at the Keizersberg Abbey Park where you’ll have a splendid view overlooking Leuven. It’s just behind OPEK at the Vaartkom; where you can also have lunch and coffee, or attend a performance or theatre play.

iefspincemaille.com
ropeblog.net
werktank.org