Hi, I’m Fennabee! Artist in many ways. How many labels can someone have? A lot, and I enjoy them all!
Where I live(d)
I was born as Fenna Bouve (Fenna B., you see) in the late seventies in Ostend, a small port town -yet with cosmopolitan allures- in Belgium, by the North Sea. I moved at young age to grow up in Brussels – the beautiful chaotic capital of that same tiny Belgium.
Today I live in Borgerhout, the most vibrant part of the city of Antwerp, with my vegetarian superman, our two hilarious boys and two not-so-vegetarian cats.
Antwerp is actually a charming provincial (river) port town with some 660.000 inhabitants, but also has one of the biggest ports of the world and one of the busiest highways running almost trough town -which means a lot of traffic and polluted air.
This reality, next to the climate crisis, calls for action. We don’t own a car, and we proudly manage to do everything by bike. I am locally committed as mobility activist to the cause of a slow, liveable city and started a civil action group Actiegroep 30 Max! Today I’m most involved in the most fun action group ever, ‘Pak ze aan, de Turnhoutsebaan’.
In my day job I proudly work as head of the actions & mobilisations team in Greenpeace Belgium.
I have a real need to be outdoors and offline sometimes. For that, I took up running in 2014, and I proudly call myself a runner again since. I quickly discovered I love to run fast & short, so I turned to track & field and run races for Beerschot Atletiek – the oldest track & field club in this city. I’m not so bad on the ‘masters’ level (age 35 and up) – I even won the golden medal on the Flemish Championships in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 I discovered the hurdles! Love the combination of speed and pace, nothing beats taking a hurdle. I even made it to regional and national champ on the 400 metres hurdles in 2019, 2021 and in 2022.
I’ve loved drawing and painting since childhood. Taking up thick paper and brushes and paint with the most vivid colours I can find gives me energy. (WordPress even interviewed me about that color love in my early years).
Today acryl-gouache is my favorite material. For my free work I still prefer traditional media -nothing beats paint and ink, but for my assignments I jumped on the iPad Pro + Procreate-bandwagon and mix traditional & digital media.
Thé discovery of the year 2018 was the wonderful and very colourful art of screenprinting! I am part of the Antwerp based screenprint workshop collective Gezeever. Great place! I sell some of my prints in my Etsy-webshop.
And to add even more fun & joy to my art making, I discovered and started to love the very playful and free art form of Mail Art.
Oh yes. And I sing sometimes, too. My husband makes electronic music and sometimes I sing some lines for him in our joint project Efengee. 🙂
The latest development in my art journey is Gilberta Mango. I’ve been struggling a long time with ‘my artistic voice’. I wanted that all my artwork must be recognizable, coherent ànd address today’s issues. A list too long to make art in a relaxed way, ‘just for fun’, right? Let that all go… that’s how Gilberta Mango was born in 2021. I paint loose & free, with no predefined plan. I only use the brightest colors and plants I love. It’s just sunny, fun, colorful and tropical!
In October 2021 did my first exhibition in BarPlusPlant, a local plant & coffee shop run by friends here in Borgerhout – and the first weeks 20 out of 30 works were sold! So this ‘unserious side project’ is turning out to be my REAL artistic voice!