Joe English

The ‘Heldenhulde’ Headstone Joe English designed for the flemish soldiers during WWI. Using a celtic cross is a nice example of cultural appropriation, inspired by his Irish roots.

The family archive has proven to be a great source of inspiration. Two photography projects sprouted from the historical research: ‘Met Kop en Schouders‘ is an exhibition commissioned by ADVN to accompany the research, publication and database about ‘Heldenhulde‘. English designed the headstones this organisation provided during WW1. In ‘Mystic Land‘ I went on a pilgrimage to all the places he was during the war, resulting in a series of landscapes reflecting on the state of our world 100 years later.

Diving into that history for over a decade now, historical research in general and the history of flemish nationalism specifically, has become a constant element in my work. It has inspired me to setup projects like the ‘archive of untold stories‘ or even ‘byebye leopold‘.

I’m now also on the board of directors of the ‘Museum aan de IJzer‘, commonly known as the ‘IJzerbedevaartcomit√©‘. Working in that field gives me the opportunity to keep a close watch on what’s happening in the realms of nationalism today and I can voice my perspective on the matter. It’s also how I became the director of the renewed ‘IJzerbedevaart’ in 2020 and the one in 2021. Those annual pilgrimages voiced the revendications of the flemish emancipation movement for more than a century. Looking back on that history from our current perspective, it gives a tremendous array of themes to reflect on the current states of politics and society.

Discover the historical research about Joe English, in dutch, at www.joe-english-kunstschilder.be where you’ll also find the newsletters (44 and counting!) that I have done the layout for since 2017.

Joe English, Leven & Werk

Biographical video on the life of my great-grandfather (1882-1918), painter and soldier who died during WW1, later a symbol of the flemish nationalist movement. The video was produced for an exhibition of his work back in 2008 and used in lectures.