Thomas Lowein:

the most liberating experience of my life

the most liberating experience of my life

South Africa

From the minute Pierre told me about participating in the SAFFCA residency program, I was excited. Excited about the potential that such an experience could have on me as a person and the effect it would have on my work. I knew that this was perfect timing.

I decided that I wouldn’t ‘google’ about the area I was going to reside and also that I wouldn’t arrive in South Africa with a preconceived direction of work.

The residence turned out to be the most liberating experience of my life. I felt like I uncoiled instantly and I discovered a new found confidence in my concepts. Everyone at Witklipfontein were amazing at facilitating me and my work. The residency building and studio are incredible.

Dealing with myself and my work seemed so much lighter, allowing me to really focus on progressing as an artist and be highly productive.


I was apprehensive about returning to Brussels after such an idyllic time in SA. Being back in a city and bustling art scene was something I didn’t really want. Staying at La Cambre though was perfect and I felt at ease very quickly.

The residence here allowed me to be secluded and using the energy I’d received in SA, I really pushed forward with my work.

I had decided in SA that I was going to arrive back in Europe with a pretty concrete idea of how I envisaged my work moving. I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much clarity. I was so prepared to tackle the concepts I had developed.

The work consisted of painting from photos of my trip in SA, using the inverted colours. It was a way of creating an image that was both abstract and representational.

I can safely say that the work I produced in Brussels felt different to my previous work in both aesthetics and spirit and it was all because of the two residencies offered to me by SAFFCA.

Areas: Brussels - Europe and South Africa

Venues: La Cambre and Witklipfontein Eco Lodge