BALLERINA (MARIETTE TEUGELS)
Arriving at the Hofstraat you encounter the ‘Ballerina’. The sculptor, Mariette Teugels, is fascinated by the beauty of the young female dancer and wants to depict the figure as realistically as possible. The young dancer bends her lithe body deeply forward and graciously ties the silk ribbons of one of her pointes. ‘Spitzen’ are made of a leather sole, a satin or canvas shoe and a hard nose, called ‘the box’, made of tightly packed layers of paper and fabric. While preparing for her performance, the Ballerina already seems to be starting a dance move. She is concentrated, the taut hair is tied into a knot. The eyes are fixed on the tip of her pointe shoe, the arms are in a graceful movement and the legs in the classical dance position. The lifelike design by Mariette Teugels is very much appreciated by a wide audience.
The realisation of this bronze statue requires thorough professional knowledge and skill. The living model cannot remain standing in the bent position for a long time, thus photos need to be used. The sculpting requires a metal skeleton offering the required supporting points. Both the moulding and the casting in bronze are delicate tasks. The result of all these efforts however is a most gracious, attractive piece of art.
Mariette Teugels was trained for moulding and casting at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Mechelen (until 1977). Between 1979 and 1982 she had her own studio with model at the Antwerp’s National High Institute. Teugels is a late-bloomer. She only started her artistic career at the age of 47. On the Market Square you can find another of her works, the group of statues ‘De Lopers’ (The Runners).
Kunst in de Stad, 7 September 7th 1985